SINGAPORE: The importance of the straits of Malacca and Singapore to the international community will grow exponentially with the rise of Asia in the global economy, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.
As such, it is essential to ensure the straits remain open, safe and secure, he added.
Mr Lui made this point when he opened the 5th Co—operation Forum on Monday.
At the event, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore also signed documents to formalise their agreement to sustain the Marine Electronic Highway (MEH) under the Co—operation Mechanism.
The MEH provides shipmasters with a support system that links ships with marine information such as real—time tide, wind, current and weather conditions.
Mr Lui said the Co—operative Mechanism, which is the key platform for the three countries to share information on issues related to the straits, will press on with efforts for safe navigation, as well as development.
"Demand for shipping will grow in tandem with economic growth. The maritime industry has to play a key role in supporting sustainable development," said Mr Lui.
"For our region, the Co—operative Mechanism is an important framework for promoting sustainable maritime development in the straits. We have to continue working through the mechanism to explore new ways to facilitate efficient shipping while protecting the maritime environment," he added.
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