Thailand and Singapore bolster regional stability through civil ties

Image courtesy of Pornprom Satrabhaya/Bangkok Post

Singapore and Thailand’s foreign ministers affirmed that enhanced civil service collaboration will deepen bilateral ties and contribute to regional development.

Speaking at the 14th Civil Service Exchange Programme (CSEP), co-hosted by the Thai and Singaporean foreign affairs ministries, officials highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge and best practices among civil service officers from both nations.

The ministers emphasised that such joint efforts would not only fortify their relationship but also bolster regional growth and the stability of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan noted that the global landscape has become more fragmented. He referenced various geopolitical tensions, including the Russia-Ukraine war, the genocide in Gaza, escalating tensions in the Pacific and the South China Sea, and the emerging superpower rivalry between the United States and China, both vital partners to Singapore and Thailand.

In addition to these geopolitical challenges, Balakrishnan mentioned that the world is experiencing domestic and political resistance to free trade and more liberal economic models.

Despite these issues, Southeast Asia has seen significant economic advancements over the last six decades, with both nations’ GDP growth rates reflecting maturing economies.

Balakrishnan argued that the old economic strategies and forms of cooperation are inadequate in addressing current global disruptions. He proposed that Thailand and Singapore collaborate to navigate global conflicts and support free trade, aiming to chart a unified course for ASEAN.

“We need Singapore and Thailand to also make common cause in this new world that is emerging.”

Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Maris Sangiampongsa highlighted that Singapore is a crucial trading partner and the second-largest investment partner for Thailand.

Maris noted that over 60 years of bilateral relations, both countries have pursued shared objectives of mutual peace and security, leading to the establishment of ASEAN in 1967, reported Bangkok Post.

“Besides, next year will mark the 60th anniversary of Singapore-Thailand bilateral relations. We very much look forward to an official visit by the president and the prime minister of Singapore to Thailand.”

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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