Republic of Korea


Singapore and Republic of Korea (ROK) enjoy close and longstanding relations, underpinned by frequent high-level exchanges, robust economic links, and multifaceted cooperation. 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.  In recent years, both sides have embarked on new areas of cooperation such as smart cities, cybersecurity, fintech, advanced manufacturing and start-ups, amongst others.

A key milestone was the Korea-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (KSFTA), which entered into force in March 2006. Businesses from both sides have growing investment interests in each other’s markets. In 2019, the ROK was Singapore’s 8th largest trading partner.

Both countries also cooperate closely to deal with the challenges of COVID-19. A Reciprocal Green Lane arrangement was established in September 2020 to facilitate essential business and official travel between the two sides.

Recent Highlights

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    • Minister (Trade and Industry) Chan Chun Sing had video-conferences with ROK Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee on 27 March and 22 June respectively.
    • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan had a phone conversation with ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha on 2 September.
    • The 4th Korea-Singapore Forum was held in Seoul, ROK on 14 March.
    • Senior Minister of State (Environment and Water Resources) Dr Amy Khor visited the ROK from 8 to 12 April.
    • Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Seoul, ROK from 13 to 15 May to attend the 10th Asian Leadership Conference. ESM delivered a keynote speech at the Conference.
    • ROK Minister for National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo visited Singapore from 31 May to 2 June 2019 for the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue.
    • Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Transport) (Culture, Community and Youth) Baey Yam Keng visited the ROK from 22 to 24 October to attend the Special Meeting of ASEAN-ROK Ministers Responsible for Culture and the Arts in Gwangju (23 to 24 Oct).  
    • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Seoul, ROK from 22 to 24 November for a bilateral visit, before attending the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan, ROK, from 25 to 26 November. 
    • ROK Minister for National Defense Song Young-moo visited Singapore on 29 January to attend the 6th International Institute of Strategic Studies Fullerton Forum. He delivered the keynote speech at the Forum.
    • ROK Minister for Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha visited Singapore from 7 to 8 March.
    • ROK Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee visited Singapore from 7 to 8 March.
    • Minister (Defence) Ng Eng Hen visited Seoul, ROK from 16 to 19 March.
    • ROK Minister for Trade Kim Hyun-chong visited Singapore from 2 to 3 May.
    • ROK Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Un-gyu visited Singapore from 14 to 15 May.
    • ROK Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon visited Singapore from 7 to 10 July. Seoul was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.
    • ROK President Moon Jae-in made a State Visit to Singapore from 11 to 13 July.
    • ROK Minister for Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha visited Singapore from 4 to 5 August to attend the 25th ASEAN Regional Forum.
    • Minister of State (National Development) (Manpower) Zaqy Mohamad visited Seoul, ROK on 17 September to attend the ASEAN-ROK Infrastructure Ministers’ Meeting.
    • ROK Mayor of Busan Oh Keo-don visited Singapore from 31 October to 1 November.
    • ROK President Moon Jae-in visited Singapore from 13 to 16 November to attend the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

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