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National Day: Republic Day 26th January
2019 Embassy Activities Round-Up
Belgium-Singapore: Working in Tandem with Current Times
This bilateral relationship has continued to garner benefits from a strong understanding and mutual desires to take on today’s challenges and capitalize on new opportunities
It’s been an eventful year with a flurry of activities: the Embassy kick-started 2019 by issuing the “Belgium Business Report”. The report highlights the strong relationship between Belgium and Singapore. Indeed, Belgium-Singapore business ties are excellent and are set to enhance even further with the imminent entry into force of the EU-Singapore FTA. Currently, Belgium is the city-state’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU while Singapore is our top trading partner in ASEAN.
March marked an important milestone in Belgium-Singapore ties: Belgium’s SWIFT jointly launched a trial with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to use blockchain technology for e-voting during shareholder meetings. SWIFT is a Belgian organisation that owns a platform which connects 11,000+ financial institutions to security firms and corporates in 200+ markets globally.
In the same month, the Embassy teamed up with Alliance Française to bring Belgian Francophone movies to the Lion City. This resulted in the screening of “Nos Batailles”. Meanwhile, the Ambassador opened the Spirou4rights exhibition together with Singaporean actor and comedian, Mr Hossan Leong.
In April, fellow Belgian and composer, conductor, educator and pianist, Mr Robert Casteels, performed “Time:Crystals” – supported by the Embassy – at the Visual Arts Centre Singapore. One month later, “Le Ciel Flamand”, Belgium’s contribution to the European Film Festival saw a strong turnout. Prior to the screening in the iconic National Gallery, the director was interviewed by The Straits Times.
Innovfest Unbound Singapore 2019 took place in June: ten Belgian startups rubbed shoulders with potential investors and clients at their pavilion. The high number of visitors indicated a clear interest in Belgian startups.
In August, the Antwerp Police Department signed a MoU with the Singapore Police Force to promote cooperation in the battle against transnational crime.
Mr Pascal Smet, State Secretary, Brussels-Capital Region, paid a working visit to the city-state in September. During this visit he met his Singaporean counterparts, as well as various stakeholders to discuss a.o. trade and investment opportunities and bilateral collaborations.
In October, Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob met with King Philip in Tokyo, Japan. The two Heads of State talked about ways to deepen Belgium-Singapore cooperation.
On November 14 finally, the Ambassador – supported by Katoen Natie, DEME, Solvay, Brussels Airport and BRICS – hosted the King’s Day reception where 400+ guests enjoyed the very best Belgium has to offer in the iconic Victoria Theatre. Singapore’s Minister of State, Mr Sam Tan, graced the event.