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Remarks by Minister Khaw Boon Wan at Virtual Signing Ceremony between The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) and Saudi Global Ports

13 Apr 2020 Speeches

His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Nayef Al Saud, Governor of the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia,

His Excellency Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport of Saudi Arabia,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.     Greetings from Singapore.  I am pleased to be participating, virtually, in this signing ceremony between Mawani and Saudi Global Ports to consolidate container terminal operations in Dammam Port.  

2.     Today’s ceremony marks another milestone in the strengthening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Singapore.  It follows soon after President Halimah Yacob’s historic State Visit to Saudi Arabia last November, at the invitation of His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.  I am happy that His Royal Highness Prince Saud Bin Nayef is here with us at this ceremony. Singapore has a close working relationship with many companies in the Eastern Province, including Saudi Aramco which has made Singapore a key hub for its Asian operations.  I am also pleased that His Excellency Engineer Saleh Al Jasser is joining us today.  In addition to his transport portfolio, Minister Al Jasser will also be co-chairing the Saudi-Singapore Joint Committee on economic co-operation, which His Majesty King Salman proposed during President Halimah’s visit.  

3.     Singapore seeks to strengthen our engagement with Saudi Arabia at all levels. This includes contributing to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic reforms.  As a global transport hub, we believe that Singapore can add value to the key sectors of transport and logistics.  Singapore’s PSA International is happy to share its experience in global logistics, through this joint venture with the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

4.     The Saudi Global Ports Company started construction at Dammam Port in 2012, and commenced operations in 2015.  Since then it has achieved many major milestones. For example, Saudi Global Ports operates the only deep-water port in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, and it has been identified as a National Champion by the Public Investment Fund to develop the logistics sector. 

5.     The significance of today’s event is our joint commitment to keeping global supply chains open and cargo flowing, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ports and shipping play a critical role in ensuring the flow of cargo and continued functioning of global supply chains.  This is even more significant during a pandemic as we need to move food, medical supplies, and many other essential goods, to where they are needed.  International co-operation is absolutely vital, and our agreement today underscores this principle.  I am glad that we have not let the virus prevent us from proceeding with this important ceremony.  It demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s and Singapore’s determination to ensure that ports and shipping continue to function, even as we battle the virus.

6.     Singapore supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reforms, and Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20.  At this critical time, global leadership is needed more than ever, to tackle the many challenges ahead.  I am pleased with the continued strengthening of ties and co-operation between our two countries, and I wish Saudi Global Ports resounding success in its development.

7.     Thank you.