PHNOM PENH: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam have acknowledged the excellent state of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Both countries have reiterated their common commitment to further strengthen their partnership and cooperation for the benefit of ASEAN and the broader Asia—Pacific region.
Mrs Clinton and Mr Shanmugam met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum.
In a joint statement, the US and Singapore said both governments are fully dedicated to advancing the development goals of ASEAN member states and contributing towards a strong and integrated ASEAN community.
In February 2012, Mrs Clinton and Mr Shanmugam signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Singapore — United States Third Country Training Program (TCTP).
This signalled the US and Singapore’s intent to jointly extend technical assistance to developing countries, particularly ASEAN countries in the lower Mekong sub—region.
Under the TCTP, the United States and Singapore will draw on the expertise of their respective public sectors to develop innovative capacity building courses and programmes to assist developing countries to address common challenges in a collaborative manner.
Since that time, good progress has been made on the implementation of TCTP projects under their Memorandum of Understanding.
In June, experts from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Singapore’s national water agency PUB conducted a Scenario Planning Workshop in Bangkok from June 18 to 21 for the Mekong River Commission (MRC) officials and staff. The workshop was aimed at strengthening the MRC’s capabilities in Integrated Water Resource Management.
The United States and Singapore also intend to continue cooperation to bolster MRC technical capacity by conducting further collaborative training and technical workshops.
Both countries will also offer joint training in Singapore on the prevention of counterfeit health products for drug regulators from ASEAN member states in August.
The United States and Singapore are also planning to implement a number of projects in 2012 and 2013 that will focus on building capacity of ASEAN member states in a broad range of areas —— including the delivery of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, public health, sustainable urban development, economic development, urban transport planning, and trade facilitation.
Both countries have reaffirmed their commitment to addressing development needs in the region and to intensifying cooperation in this area of common interest.
Their efforts will continue to be relevant to the needs of countries and in support of regional institutions including the East Asia Summit, ASEAN, Asia—Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other relevant regional organisations and initiatives.
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