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  October 10th, 2018 | Written by

Commerce under secretary signs industry collaboration agreements

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  • Under Secretary of Commerce works to update and expand framework for US-Singapore commercial collaboration.
  • Indo-Pacific Initiative includes helping US companies by enhancing trade promotion efforts.
  • Partnership with Singapore represents mutual benefits US hopes to accomplish in Indo-Pacific region.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan met in Singapore with officials from the US Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Business Federation (SBF), and Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) in September to update and expand the Department of Commerce’s framework for US-Singapore commercial collaboration.

The discussions were part of a broader trip that Kaplan led to India, Vietnam, and Singapore to advance the US government’s new Indo-Pacific Initiative by helping US companies navigate market challenges and by enhancing trade promotion efforts.

US Chamber Executive Director for Southeast Asia John Goyer joined with Under Secretary Kaplan and Singapore Business Federation President Ho Meng Kit to sign a Statement of Intent between the Department of Commerce, the US Chamber, and the Singapore Business Federation to foster mutually beneficial commercial activities and promote new business partnerships in priority sectors. The US Chamber’s direct participation will help ensure that US industry has a meaningful and central role in identifying key trade promotion activities that can significantly boost US goods and services exports to Singapore.

Kaplan signed a separate statement of intent with Singapore Manufacturing Federation President Douglas Foo to lay the groundwork for additional collaborative activities with US and Singaporean industry leaders, including work with innovative startups on standardization in critical emerging areas like additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and medical technology.

Kaplan also witnessed the signing of a third statement of intent between Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Vice President of Innovation Brad Schoener and incoming SMF Medical Technology Industry Group Chairperson Margareta Laminto. He commended AAMI and SMF for organizing a best practices business roundtable on standards and certification processes in the medical technology sector that was held the following day, marking completion of the first deliverable under the new ITA-SMF framework.

In his remarks, Kaplan emphasized that “our partnership with Singapore has been a great representation of the mutually beneficial outcomes we hope to accomplish throughout the broader Indo-Pacific region, especially with all of the gains we have seen since the United States and Singapore signed our bilateral free trade agreement 15 years ago. This includes the Commerce Department’s work with Singapore’s business organizations, who have been great friends and partners of the US government and US business community over the years.”

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