SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to further cooperate in the areas of digital and green economy following a meeting between ministers from both countries on Thursday (June 30).
Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong met with Malaysia's Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali in Kuala Lumpur.
Both ministers agreed to begin discussions on frameworks of cooperation in the two areas, with a view of concluding both frameworks this year, said Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a statement.
MTI said the ministers recognised that the digital and green economies are key to sustainable and inclusive growth for both countries.
The frameworks of cooperation aim to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, and serve as the basis for future bilateral cooperation initiatives related to these two areas.
They will also provide a wider range of benefits to businesses in both countries in the areas of entrepreneurship, industrialisation, investment and trade.
Gan said the frameworks represent the commitment of both countries to deepen existing bilateral economic collaboration and bring about tangible benefits to both economies.
MTI said that the Covid-19 pandemic had highlighted the importance of digital connectivity between countries and accelerated the digital transformation of traditional business models.
To prepare for the next phase of growth in the digital economy, it is important for Singapore and Malaysia to foster a greater ability to work with each other and collaborate, it said.
"This will unlock a greater range of opportunities for the benefit of our businesses and communities," said MTI.
It added that climate change and sustainability are increasingly shaping economic growth and trade, so for the world to achieve its climate ambitions, like-minded parties such as Singapore and Malaysia need to work together towards a low-carbon future.
This means partnering on efforts to decarbonise industries, and enabling businesses and workers to seize opportunities in the green economy.
The meeting between the two ministers also touched on their recent engagement at the Informal Ministerial Meeting on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) held in Paris in mid-June.
MTI said both ministers affirmed the strategic and economic significance of the IPEF as a valuable platform for the United States to engage the region, and for countries to work together to strengthen the open and rules-based trade ecosystem.
The ministers also underscored the importance of the IPEF continuing to be an open, inclusive, and flexible initiative, which would facilitate broader participation and more meaningful collaboration, said MTI.