Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat highlights the importance of innovation and global collaboration in addressing climate change at the Sweden Indo-Pacific Business Summit.

Singapore, 5 December 2023 – Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat delivered a keynote address at the Sweden Indo-Pacific Business Summit, emphasizing the significance of innovation and international cooperation in addressing pressing global challenges.

The summit, held on 5 December 2023, welcomed notable figures such as Mr Johan Forsell, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Sweden, Mr Anders Sjoberg, Ambassador of Sweden to Singapore, and Mr Andrew Kwan, Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to Sweden.

DPM Heng Swee Keat expressed gratitude for the longstanding economic ties between Singapore and Sweden, highlighting the presence of almost 500 Swedish companies in Singapore, including well-known brands like Ikea, Electrolux, and H&M. He acknowledged the contributions of Swedish individuals, such as Professor Bertil Andersson and Mr Marcus Wallenberg, to Singapore’s growth story.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized the shared commitment of Singapore and Sweden to innovation, evident in both nations ranking among the Top 5 most innovative economies on the 2023 Global Innovation Index. He discussed Singapore’s efforts in fostering innovation, including a pilot acceleration program in Stockholm and collaborations with Swedish enterprises.

Addressing the global challenge of climate change, DPM Heng Swee Keat highlighted the critical need for a green transition. He commended Sweden and the European Union’s European Green Deal, emphasizing Singapore’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Singapore Green Plan 2030, focusing on electric vehicles, sustainable fuels, and green skills development, was also discussed.

The Deputy Prime Minister outlined Singapore’s initiatives, including a progressive carbon tax until 2030 and the launch of the Singapore-Asia Taxonomy at COP-28, aimed at defining transition activities across sectors. He highlighted the role of the Monetary Authority of Singapore in mobilizing green and transition finance through initiatives like TRACTION.

DPM Heng Swee Keat encouraged cross-border collaboration between Singapore and Sweden in the fields of research and development. He highlighted the success of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, leading to increased bilateral trade and the ongoing negotiations for an EU-Singapore Digital Trade Agreement to enhance digital connectivity.

The Deputy Prime Minister invited Swedish companies to collaborate with Singapore, leveraging its position as a regional business and finance hub. He emphasized Singapore’s commitment to becoming a vibrant carbon services and trading hub, offering opportunities for companies involved in the carbon market value chain.

In conclusion, DPM Heng Swee Keat highlighted the long-standing cooperation between Singapore and Sweden and expressed optimism about further collaboration in innovation, particularly in the context of addressing climate change. He wished the summit participants meaningful and productive discussions.

Source – PMO