Mr Mohd Fahmi Bin Aliman: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs (a) what is Singapore's strategy to ensure the security of its trade routes and shipping lanes amidst geopolitical tensions, particularly with the threat posed to ships heading to Israel as articulated by the Houthis; (b) what diplomatic and trade policy initiatives will be undertaken to address the potential impact on global trade routes and to safeguard Singaporeans’ business interest; and (c) how does the Ministry plan to ensure that Singaporean shipping companies and vessels are adequately prepared to navigate these challenges.
The Houthis’ attacks on vessels in the Red Sea region, a major Sea Line of Communication, have disrupted the flow of trade and threatened the safety and freedom of navigation through the area.
To safeguard free and open access to trade routes and shipping lanes, Singapore will continue to work with the international community, including the relevant littoral states and agencies such as the International Maritime Organisation, in accordance with international law. For instance, Singapore is a member of the 41-nation Combined Maritime Forces and has participated in multinational counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden under Combined Task Force (CTF) 151. Mr Fahmi would also be aware of our participation in Operation Prosperity Guardian, under CTF 153: Red Sea Maritime Security.In addition, Singapore has hosted the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre since 2006 and the Information Fusion Centre since 2009. These centres enable rapid information-sharing and engagement with the commercial shipping community on maritime security incidents which allow timely and appropriate actions to be taken.
Our agencies have been engaging operators of Singapore-registered ships to remind them to exercise vigilance, follow instructions from the local authorities and take necessary precautionary measures when transiting through the Red Sea region. We will continue to monitor the impact of such disruptions to global trade on our businesses. We stand ready to serve as a catch-up port to help diverted vessels from the Red Sea, and to work with our businesses to manage their supply chains and strengthen their contingency plans.
. . . . .
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
6 FEBRUARY 2024