17 May 2021
SPEECH BY MR BENEDICT CHEONG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TEMASEK FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE TEMASEK FOUNDATION SERIES ON TRADE & NEGOTIATIONS: RSIS – WTO PARLIAMENTARIAN WORKSHOP, 17 MAY 2021
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament, Singapore,
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organisation,
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
A warm welcome to all the regional parliamentarians and officials present at this virtual event today! I am pleased to join all of you this afternoon at the opening of the RSIS – WTO Parliamentarian Workshop 2021, under the ‘Temasek Foundation Series on Trade & Negotiations’.
2. Today’s event marks the 11th year of this programme. While the programme was started 12 years back, Temasek Foundation entered into partnership with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2011 to co-present this programme. It has been an enriching experience observing and learning from distinguished parliamentarians in the region.
3. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in the world of international trade. Managing a country’s participation in trade agreements is always a complex matter. From garnering support for trade policies to ensuring smooth implementation after the agreements are in place, parliamentarians play a critical role in the facilitation process.
4. What this programme does is to provide a platform for parliamentarians, legislators and trade officials from the region to share experiences and exchange knowledge on international trade issues. We hope that this annual gathering of parliamentarians will help in deepening the understanding of international trade system, practices, negotiations and agreements, and policy-making and implementation related to trade issues and agreements.
5. Set up in 2007 by Temasek, a Singapore Investment Company, Temasek Foundation contributes to a thriving, prosperous and connected Asia. We support programmes that build capabilities in health care, education, urban management, public administration, and disaster-preparedness. With over S$235 million committed to more than 500 programmes, it is our belief that programmes such as this parliamentarian workshop will continue to enhance people-to-people connections and foster greater economic integration and growth in Asia and beyond.
6. My sincere gratitude to Speaker, Mr Tan Chuan Jin, for joining us at this virtual event today. We are appreciative of your support and taking time to share your insights with our friends from the region. Thank you.
7. My deepest appreciation to our partners, WTO and RSIS for the partnership over the past many years. Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Ambassador Ong Keng Yong – thank you and your teams for your hard work in ensuring the success of the programme. I am confident that our continued partnership will contribute positively to the trade community in Asia and internationally. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is enraging the world, may all of us continue to take every effort to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. As the saying goes, no one is safe until everyone is safe! So please keep well and stay safe always!
8. Thank you.
Last updated on 21/05/2021