Working visit of President Armen Sarkissian to Singapore
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, who is in Singapore, met with the President of the Republic of Singapore Halimah Yacob.
During the meeting, which lasted more than an hour, the Presidents of Armenia and Singapore exchanged views on the current agenda of Armenian-Singaporean relations. President Sarkissian also provided information on the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the situation after the 44-day war unleashed by Azerbaijan, humanitarian issues, Azerbaijan's ongoing aggressive actions, including the recent incursion into Armenia's sovereign territory.
During the meeting, they touched upon the potential and opportunities to develop Armenian-Singaporean cooperation in various spheres. President Sarkissian said that Singapore is a good example of a rapidly developed, successful state for many countries, including Armenia.
President Yacob noted that they are ready to help Armenia with their experience and advice in several spheres.
The two Presidents praised the Armenian community of Singapore, emphasizing the significant role of the Armenian community in the history of Singapore, its investments in trade, economy, culture, and other areas. As mentioned, the names of many Armenians are forever intertwined in the history of the people of Singapore. An Armenian family founded the oldest hotel in the country; the national flower of Singapore - the Singapore orchid - is named after the Armenian florist Agnes Joakim (Hovakimyan).
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, who is in Singapore, had a talk with the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.
They referred to the current level of Armenian-Singaporean relations and the prospects for their development.
The day before, the President of Armenia informed the Prime Minister of Singapore about the provocative-aggressive actions of Azerbaijan on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
President Sarkissian and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about developing bilateral cooperation in several areas. They noted that there is a great potential for cooperation, especially in the fields of high technology, artificial intelligence, science and education. According to President Sarkissian, the development way of Singapore is a good example for Armenia, and in some spheres, the Singaporean experience can be useful for our country.
Referring to the development opportunities of small countries in the modern, rapidly changing world, the interlocutors agreed that in the new realities small and "smart countries" have great opportunities for development and success.
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, who is in Singapore, had a talk with the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat.
The interlocutors discussed the possibilities of expanding the Armenian-Singaporean bilateral ties in different spheres and the directions of cooperation. In particular, they noted that there is great potential for deepening cooperation in high technologies, communication, science, education and several other areas. Considering that the basis of the effective development of a state is the driving force of high-quality education, knowledge and innovation, the interlocutors attached importance to the effective use of human capital, and scientific-educational cooperation. They also touched upon the issues of development of cooperation between the scientific-educational institutions of Armenia and Singapore and the opportunities to implement various exchange programs.
President Sarkissian and the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore also stressed the significance of intensifying the contacts and cultural ties between the two countries.
Within the framework of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, the President of Armenia also spoke with Michael Bloomberg, the well-known businessman, founder of Bloomberg Financial Media Company, former Mayor of New York, and the Special Envoy for the issues of Cities and Climate Change of the UN Secretary General, Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, and Noel Quinn, the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC.
Within the framework of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, President of the Republic Armen Sarkissian acted as a speaker in the thematic discussion on climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the new challenges posed by them.
The conference brought together world leaders, heads of international organizations, and leading companies to discuss the consequences of the global impact of the pandemic, the ways of countering them and the new opportunities that came forth.
In his speech, the President of Armenia particularly emphasized that the rapidly changing world and humanity today face many challenges and threats, including the urgent problems caused by climate change and the coronavirus. To resolve them, President Sarkissian considered it necessary to show collective responsibility and to make bold steps and joint efforts, emphasizing that the way forward is green technologies.
Emphasizing the commitment of all countries to create a green and peaceful future, President Sarkissian regretfully stated that there are countries that even a catastrophe like pandemic did not deter from inhuman actions. He noted that last year, during the severe period of the pandemic, Armenia’s neighbour Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale catastrophic war against Artsakh, and just two days ago, Azerbaijani forces attacked territories of extremely sensitive environmental and water resources not far from Lake Sevan and the city of Jermuk in Armenia. Azerbaijan's aggressive actions have caused human casualties, as well as great damage to the population and nature.
President of the Republic Armen Sarkissian visited the National University of Singapore (NUS), and was hosted at the prestigious medical school of the university (NUS Medicine).
President Sarkissian got acquainted with the work carried out in the laboratories of NUS Medicine, the world leader in medicine, at the Centre for Quantum Technologies, and with new developments using new technologies, nanotechnologies, and artificial intelligence.
During the meeting with the President of the National University of Singapore, Professor Eng Chye Tan, the Dean of the NUS School of Medicine, Professor Yap Seng Chong, and the Chairman of the International Council of the NUS School of Medicine, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, President Sarkissian said that he was impressed with the work and modern solutions, carried out in laboratories. President Sarkissian stressed the great potential for cooperation with Armenia in the fields of healthcare and technologies.
During the meeting, the sides discussed opportunities to cooperate with scientific and educational institutions of Armenia, exchange experience, implement exchange programs for young specialists and scientists, cooperate within the ATOM Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Development and NUS Medicine International Council.
The International Council of NUS Medicine is an exceptional network of international leaders, scientists and experts, whose goal is to find solutions to health, public healthcare, population research, treatment of various diseases, in particular cancer and diabetes, through revealing opportunities in information technologies, engineering, and other fields.
President Armen Sarkissian visited the Armenian church of St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, which is the oldest in Singapore. The state preserves it as a national monument. President Sarkissian noted with gratitude that the Armenian material and spiritual heritage in Singapore is preserved with utmost care.
The President of Armenia paid tribute and laid flowers at the churchyard khachkar, commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
On November 19, President Armen Sarkissian visited the Centre for Quantum Technologies of the National University of Singapore, toured the Centre and got acquainted with its activities and programs.
The Centre was established in 2007 with the support of the National Research Foundation of Singapore and the Ministry of Education. As a leading research centre, it brings together physicists, computer scientists, and engineers to conduct fundamental research on quantum physics and to create equipment based on quantum phenomena. The world's leading specialists have been invited to this Centre.
President Sarkissian met with Professor Tsuhan Chen, Deputy President of the National University of Singapore, Professor José Ignacio Latorre, Director of the Centre for Quantum Technologies, and Keok Tong Ling, Head of the “Smart Nation & Digital Economy” Department at the National Research Foundation.
They acquainted President Sarkissian with the Centre's activities, the research carried out in various fields, including its application in medicine.
During the meeting, issues related to mutually beneficial cooperation were discussed, in particular, issues related to the exchange of experience, the implementation of exchange programs for young professionals and scientists.
President Sarkissian presented the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential Initiative for the Development of Science and Technology in Armenia, noting that it, being a future-oriented program, will focus on the scientific and technological development of the country, in particular artificial intelligence, mathematical modelling. The President said that, given that Singapore has a developed quantum ecosystem, they would be happy to have partners from Singapore. The heads of the National University, Research Foundation and the Centre for Quantum Technologies, in their turn, noted that they are interested in cooperation, ready to study and discuss specific areas of joint work.
President Sarkissian also participated in the Forum of the International Council of the National University of Singapore School of Medicine (NUS Medicine), where he spoke about the Armenian-Singaporean relations, the potential for cooperation in the fields of science, education, the role of education and technology in the future development of the states; he also answered the diverse questions of the participants.
Touching upon the Armenian-Singaporean relations, the President of Armenia noted that Singapore is a special country for many Armenians, as the Armenians have had a significant trace and presence in this land.
Speaking about the similarities between Armenia and Singapore, President Sarkissian particularly noted that both peoples value education and science. "It is a good basis for developing cooperation in the fields of education and science. The basis of a competitive state is competitive education. We must do everything in our country to develop education and science and high technologies," he said, "Armenia and Singapore can do a lot together. I want to make Armenia a hub of science and technologies.”
The President of Armenia emphasized that Singapore is a perfect example for our country. "Having no great natural resources, being a small country, Singapore had human potential. Power of idea, vision, strategy. These are the entities that created Singapore," said President Sarkissian. "I hope that the strength of this idea will also make my country strong and prosperous, and I will be able to say that we have repeated the example of Singapore."