Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/17/2012 08:02 | By Channel NewsAsia

Singapore, US welcome progress in joint assistance to ASEAN community—building

Singapore, US welcome progress in joint assistance to ASEAN community—building


Singapore, US welcome progress in joint assistance to ASEAN community—building

SINGAPORE: Foreign Minister K Shanmugam and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have welcomed the headway that their two countries have made in providing joint assistance towards community—building in ASEAN.

The sentiment was expressed at a dinner hosted by Mr Shanmugam on Friday evening for Mrs Clinton, who is in Singapore on an official visit.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Mr Shanmugam and Mrs Clinton welcomed the concrete progress made under the Singapore—US Third Country Training Programme (TCTP).

TCTP is aimed at providing support to ASEAN community—building efforts through joint technical assistance.

Two TCTP signature programmes on governance and leadership development, as well as trade facilitation, are being discussed. These programmes will allow Singapore and the US to work together in developing human resources, and contributing to a more integrated economic community in ASEAN.

The statement also said Singapore and the US are in discussions to conclude an Intergovernmental Agreement on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This is in line with Singapore’s role as a responsible tax jurisdiction and commitment to safeguard its financial system from being used to harbour illegal proceeds.

The statement also noted the US has recently decided to continue Singapore’s Visa Waiver Program designation, providing convenience to Singaporeans travelling to the US.

At their meeting, Mr Shanmugam and Mrs Clinton exchanged views on international and regional developments.

In particular, they touched on the continued commitment of the Obama administration in its multi—faceted engagement of the region. These include the issues that will be discussed at the ASEAN—US Leaders Meeting and East Asian Summit in Phnom Penh later this week.

Earlier on Friday, Mrs Clinton called on former Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew. They had a good discussion on a wide range of regional and international issues, including US foreign policy in Asia.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be meeting with Mrs Clinton on Saturday.

— CNA/de

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