President Halimah suggests more flights between Singapore and S. Korea & More News Here

SEOUL – Singapore President Halimah Yacob has requested South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to contemplate permitting more flights between the 2 international locations, noting that there’s robust demand for journey from either side.

“He told me that in a survey they did, when Koreans were asked where they would like to go when borders are open, they said Singapore,” she instructed The Straits Times.

“So I said that the reverse is also true. When Singaporeans are asked where they would like to go, they put (their) number one (choice as) Korea.”

Travel between the 2 international locations resumed final November with the launch of a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL). Some 10,098 Singaporeans travelled to South Korea within the first three months of the yr, whereas 6,608 South Koreans flew to Singapore.

Madam Halimah, who had a bilateral assembly with Mr Yoon on Tuesday (May 10), stated the VTL was a “good example of the level of confidence between South Korea and Singapore”.

“Only when you have that level of confidence are you prepared to be the first mover, and it worked really well because it opened up connectivity and allowed trade and investment,” she stated.

The VTL was changed by the Vaccinated Travel Framework final month permitting all vaccinated travellers to enter Singapore with out quarantine. Since April 1, Korea has additionally allowed all totally vaccinated travellers to skip necessary quarantine.

The pandemic didn’t have an effect on commerce and funding ties between the 2 international locations, Madam Halimah stated, noting that South Korea’s funding in Singapore elevated by 19 per cent final yr, whereas bilateral commerce elevated by 26 per cent.

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But because the variety of flights was minimize significantly she requested President Yoon to consider growing flight quantity “so we can continue to strengthen people to people relations, and that certainly will be good for both countries”.

Mr Yoon agreed to “look into the possibility”, in response to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Madam Halimah is in Seoul to attend Mr Yoon’s inauguration ceremony. ST understands that she was seated subsequent to Mr Yoon through the banquet he hosted for friends at Shilla Hotel on Tuesday night time.

At their bilateral assembly, the 2 leaders reaffirmed the nice and cozy and pleasant ties between the 2 international locations and recognized numerous areas the place bilateral cooperation could be additional enhanced, akin to inexperienced financial system and digitalisation.

Both leaders welcomed the conclusion of the Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement and seemed ahead to its signing quickly.

In his opening remarks through the assembly, Mr Yoon stated he “studied the Singapore model” throughout his presidential marketing campaign and he thinks there are numerous areas South Korea can benchmark towards Singapore, akin to schooling innovation and city improvement.

“Mutual interest and understanding will greatly strengthen cooperation between Korea and Singapore in various fields in the future,” he stated.

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