U.S.-Singapore Critical and Emerging Technology Dialogue:
Joint Vision Statement
October 12, 2023
The United States and Singapore affirm the significant promise of technology to spur inclusive economic growth and acknowledge its potential to transform our societies and the future geopolitical landscape. Building on the March 2022 meeting between U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, the United States and Singapore resolve to take bold new steps forward—as friends and strategic partners—to foster open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystems grounded in mutual trust, confidence, and a steadfast commitment to the rules-based international order.
Today, following up on the leaders’ commitments, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong delivered opening remarks at the inaugural U.S.-Singapore Critical and Emerging Technology (CET) Dialogue in Washington, D.C., chaired by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Acting Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology Seth Center (on behalf of Secretary of State Antony Blinken), Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, and Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Josephine Teo. The United States and Singapore commit to upgrade our bilateral partnership to ensure that our combined endeavours at the frontiers of the scientific and technological enterprise continue to serve the global good. This includes our work at the forefront of combatting the climate crisis through the U.S.-Singapore Climate Partnership, established in 2021 and updated in 2023, to catalyze innovation around low- and zero-emission technologies, including in hard-to-abate sectors such as shipping and aviation, and drive broader regional efforts to decarbonize and deploy renewable energy.
The launch of the U.S.-Singapore CET Dialogue marks the first of several significant steps to build enduring collaboration across our business, scientific, and national security communities with an eye toward delivering benefits for the U.S. and Singaporean people and our partners in ASEAN and across the Indo-Pacific region. We will bolster scientific and research ties across our governments, industries, and university sectors grounded in a commitment to timely exchange of knowledge and information and scientific quality and rigor. We will also explore an appropriate bilateral agreement to expand our science and technology cooperation.
Our collaboration in this new high-level forum will also complement and accelerate key initiatives across a range of existing bilateral engagements, such as the U.S.-Singapore Partnership for Growth and Innovation and the U.S.-Singapore Cyber Dialogue. It will support the ambitious agenda we are jointly driving in multilateral economic initiatives, such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), to facilitate two-way trade flows, build resilient supply chains, facilitate the clean-energy transition, and combat corruption and enhance the efficiency of tax administration. Looking forward, the United States and Singapore intend to anchor the CET Dialogue and corollary lines of efforts in six main areas, each of which have significant bearing on our shared security and prosperity:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): The United States and Singapore resolve to deepen information-sharing and consultations on international AI security, safety, trust, and standards development, while continuing to race ahead at the leading edge of responsible innovation. Acknowledging alignment in our approaches and our combined influence in the field of AI, we intend to launch a bilateral AI Governance Group focused on advancing shared principles and deepening information exchanges for safe, trustworthy, and responsible AI innovation, to complement the United States’ Voluntary AI Commitments and a potential multilateral AI Code of Conduct. We welcome the completion of a mapping exercise between the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) AI Risk Management Framework and the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority’s AI Verify, and will build on our shared principles through the launch of an AI Governance Group to complement the United States’ Voluntary AI Commitments and potential multilateral AI Code of Conduct. Furthermore, we look forward to expanding bilateral research collaboration – including between the U.S. National Science Foundation and AI Singapore – with a focus on AI safety and security and to enhance workforce development efforts.
- Digital Economy and Data Governance: The United States and Singapore will harness technology to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The two countries intend to develop a bilateral Roadmap for Digital Economic Cooperation that charts common principles and objectives on priority issues such as data governance, digital standards, digital inclusion, consumer protection, and ensuring small- and medium-enterprises can benefit from opportunities in the digital economy. We will also continue to work within the IPEF to make the digital economy more innovative and equitable. The United States and Singapore share an interest in facilitating trusted data flows with effective privacy protections. Through the existing Partnership for Growth and Innovation, the two sides commit to continued collaboration to promote these goals, including through the expansion of the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum. Additionally, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore will convene a meeting with relevant officials across our governments on both sides to explore how to strengthen our bilateral collaboration on digital payments, sharing information on our respective approaches with a view toward working together to shape international best practices. Finally, the United States and Singapore will seek to cooperate in a more concerted fashion in relevant regional and multilateral fora, and in international standards-setting bodies, to advance our shared digital economy objectives.
- Biotechnology: The United States is committed to building strong security, privacy, and ethical standards around DNA sequencing data, storage, and research to ensure the use of these data are consistent with our norms and secure against cyber intrusion and other malign activities. The United States and Singapore recognize the vital importance of furthering the development of safe and secure biotechnologies, and their ethical use in line with internationally accepted principles and norms. The two countries intend to convene our science agencies to advance shared research and development priorities, including in synthetic biology, cell and gene therapeutics, and genetic delivery systems. We will also convene universities, research institutions, private sectors, and governance agencies to drive new talent exchanges and connect our start-up communities to exchange best practices around commercialization, scaling, and R&D translation efforts.
- Critical Infrastructure and Technology Supply Chains: The two countries commit to advance focused collaboration toward promoting secure and resilient information and communications technology infrastructure—including telecommunications networks, undersea cables, and cloud computing—in the United States, Singapore, and partner nations. We intend to upgrade long-standing collaboration on smart cities with a focus on climate resilience, including under the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership. The United States and Singapore look forward to deeper knowledge-sharing on how our cities can harness technologies to meet urban challenges in ways that strengthen livability, sustainability, and resilience. The two countries commit to establish a Smart Cities Program on AI through the U.S.-Singapore Third Country Training Program to deliver capacity-building to ASEAN and Pacific Islands Forum members. Finally, the two sides underscore the importance of strengthening cooperation, including under the Partnership for Growth and Innovation Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain Pillar, and of exchanging information on domestic strategies for strengthening semiconductor supply chain resilience.
- Defense Innovation: The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) look forward to expanding collaboration on critical emerging technologies and defense innovation. To wit, MINDEF and U.S. DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) intend to formalize a partnership that accelerates the use of commercial and dual-use technologies such as autonomy, digital technologies, and AI, to solve operational challenges for our militaries. This partnership will drive focused efforts toward better integrating our defense innovation ecosystems in service of stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
- Quantum Information Science and Technology: The United States and Singapore welcome each other’s investments in our respective national quantum information sciences initiatives and intend to support our respective efforts to collaborate with trusted international partners. Toward this end, the United States and Singapore commit to expand government, academic, and private sector engagement and talent exchanges—through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program and/or other longer-term programs that enable more sustained exchanges between our technical experts—to lay the groundwork for deeper collaboration and mutual support in this crucial technology area. They also intend to expand information-sharing on Post Quantum Cryptography migration between the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Homeland Security together with Singapore’s National Quantum Office and Ministry of Communications and Information. In addition to bilateral exchanges, the two sides note the importance of coordinating on standards and pre-standardization work, including in relevant international bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union and the International Organization for Standardization.
Finally, as the United States and Singapore continue to lead in the technologies of the future, we will advance close consultations on our respective measures to build a robust innovation ecosystem ensure that emerging technologies work for, and not against, our shared security and prosperity. We will leverage the U.S.-Singapore CET Dialogue to promote candid and sustained exchanges on risks, opportunities, and key national security implications associated with the rapid advancement of technologies across these six focus areas. The United States and Singapore will discuss our respective approaches to managing risks, bolstering economic resilience, and building trusted technology ecosystems while maintaining our long-standing and shared commitment to open investment.
The United States and Singapore look forward to holding the next CET Dialogue in Singapore in 2024, co-chaired by the National Security Council, Department of State, and Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Communications and Information. In the intervening period, we plan to coordinate with key ministries, departments and agencies, and external stakeholders to continue the vital work of bridging our innovation ecosystems to deliver a brighter future for our two peoples and for the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. Our combined commitment to excellence and shared respect for international law, sovereignty, and peaceful resolution of disputes will form the foundation of our national ties, even as we move with greater ambition and ingenuity to propel our strategic partnership into the future.
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Photo Caption: US-Singapore Critical and Emerging Technology Dialogue, 12 October 2023
Photo Credits: US-Singapore Critical and Emerging Technology Dialogue, 12 October 2023