Transcript of Remarks by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Philippines on 17 April 2024

17 April 2024

Good afternoon, everyone. I came here because the Singapore Ambassador to the Philippines Constance See said, “You must come and see Clark!”, and of course, the one who really pushed for it was the Philippines Ambassador to Singapore Medardo Macaraig. I am very glad that you can see some footprints of Singapore in your ideas, your concepts and thinking, and how you are implementing it.


First of all, Singapore and Philippines are celebrating our 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties. If you think about the economic, people-to-people, defence and the political relations, these have always been very good for many decades. I am glad you have this sense of urgency now, because I think the Philippines and Filipino people deserve to now reach a time of harvest. But it is very important to plant these foundations. We are very impressed by all your presentations, and your vision for the New Clark City. More importantly, the partnerships that you are fostering, not just with Singapore or Japan, (but also) the other countries and investors that will come here and ultimately, must be able to create good jobs, good value, economic development and ultimately, hope for the people of the Philippines. 


I just want to congratulate you and to say that we look forward to whatever ideas we can share and exchange. I must say I do not believe in copy and paste. It does not work that way. It is really an exchange of ideas. In the end, you have got to create your own model that works here. 


The other final point I will make is the pride of ownership. This is a Filipino project led by Filipinos and it will benefit the Philippine citizens. It is that extra pride of ownership that makes all the difference between just being good enough versus being great. I wish you all great success. Thank you very much.



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