Speech By Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister For The Environment And Water Resources And Second Minister For Foreign Affairs Ms Grace Fu At The Singapore National Day Ceremony At Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea On 5 August 2012

MFA_20120806_2Min_webMinister Grace Fu and Commissioner of EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea Mr Lee Joon Hee at the Singapore Pavilion’s National Day Celebration at EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea. [Photo: Ministry of Environment and Water Resources]

Commissioner of EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea Lee Joon Hee

Mayor Kim Chung-Seog

Ambassador of Republic of Singapore to Republic of Korea Peter Tan

Ambassador to Republic of Korea to Republic of Singapore Oh Joon

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

A very good morning to all.

1. I am very happy to be here on this special occasion to celebrate the National Day of Singapore. First, I would like to congratulate the Organising Committee of Expo 2012 for a well organised and successful expo. I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Organising Committee for the continuous support that you have provided to the Singapore Pavilion at Expo 2012.

2. The month of August is a special month to both the Republic of Korea and Republic of Singapore. Four days ago, the Republic of Korea celebrated her Country Day at Expo 2012 on 1st August and in another four days on the 9th of August, Singapore will celebrate her 47th birthday. As a very young nation, Singapore has come a long way from a small fishing village to the thriving, vibrant metropolis we are today.

3. Despite being a highly urbanised city, Singapore has earned the moniker of a “Garden City”. Today, we have a vision of creating a “City in a Garden”, a city that is nestled in an environment of trees, flowers, parks and rich biodiversity. Singapore is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, and close to half of our city is covered by greenery. A network of green gardens and blue spaces in Singapore has resulted in a high quality of living for its people – where the fast-paced, modern city living can go hand-in-hand with soothing greenery and calming waterways. Even as Singapore continues to grow as a global city, we will endeavour to make our home a liveable and lively city state for Singaporeans.

4. The main theme of the Yeosu Expo “The Living Ocean and Coast” envisions the balance between development and preservation of the ocean and coast. The theme has resonated soundly with Singapore’s efforts to promote the balance between urban development and environmental sustainability. Through our participation in the Expo, we have shared our story of how we overcame our physical limitations to surmount the challenge of sustainable development. Our theme of - “Paradox-ity: City of Contrast” is inspired by the extraordinary paradoxes within our nation. For example, Singapore operates one of the world’s largest offshore landfill known as the Semakau Landfill, yet the landfill is home to 700 types of plants and animals. Singapore is a very small nation with only 714 square kilometres of land, yet we have more than 2 million trees on our island city-state. Above all, we may be a small nation, but we dream big.

5. Our Pavilion has been well received by visitors. Visitors have told us that they have enjoyed the interactive experience the pavilion has to offer. They have enjoyed touching our exhibits, riding on our bicycle and flying the kite in our pavilion. Many have also learnt more about Singapore and would wish to visit us in person. We thank all our visitors and the media for the support for the Singapore Pavilion and we welcome you to visit Singapore soon. On the occasion of Singapore’s 47th National Day, I am pleased to note that Singapore’s bilateral relations with the Republic of Korea are excellent, underpinned by the many high-level visits from both sides. Our economic relations have also grown from strength-to-strength. From 2010 to 2011, bilateral trade grew by 6.2 percent to S$46.8 billion. I am also happy to note that there are more than 1000 Korean companies in Singapore, including the likes of CJ Group, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, SK Group, Daewoo International and Hanjin Shipping. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to representatives from the Korean community in Singapore, who have travelled here today to join us in our celebrations.

6. Bilateral relations are defined by more than the political and economic links. It is also about the people-to-people link. In that, I am certain the interaction between our staff at the Singapore Pavilion, in particular our group of young Singaporean volunteers and Korean visitors to the pavilion would have enhanced mutual understanding between our two peoples. The planned establishment of the Korean Cultural Center in Singapore will serve to further deepen and cement the cultural understanding between our people.

7. Thank you all for taking the time to join us for the celebration of Singapore’s National Day at Expo 2012. We are grateful for all the support and assistance given to my team, the Singapore Pavilion and the Singapore companies in Korea. This is a beautiful city in Yeosu. It is my great pleasure that our Singapore team is able to be here and be part of your beautiful Expo. Thank you, Mayor, for bringing such a wonderful event, presenting the beautiful side of Yeosu to the rest of the world. I would also like to congratulate the Republic of Korea for doing so well in the Olympics 2012 in London, especially for your football team who have now gone on to the semi-finals. So we look forward to your continued support for Singapore, and we wish Republic of Korea and the Korean people a bright future ahead. Thank you very much.

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