To further boost bilateral trade in telecommunications equipment between Singapore and its top trading partner Malaysia, the two countries have issued a Joint Statement at the side of ASEAN1 TELMIN2 on Tuesday. The Joint ...

Singapore, 5 Aug 2004| For Immediate Release

Singapore Works With Top Trading Partner to Lower Costs and Reduce Time to Market for Telecommunications Equipment in Both Countries

To further boost bilateral trade in telecommunications equipment between Singapore and its top trading partner Malaysia, the two countries have issued a Joint Statement at the side of ASEAN1 TELMIN2 on Tuesday. The Joint Statement announces the intention to launch negotiations between the two countries for a bilateral Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) by December this year. When implemented, this MRA will be Singapore's third telecommunications pact with its ASEAN counterpart. Singapore had earlier launched similar negotiations with Indonesia in April 2004 and Brunei in May 2004.

In 2003, the total bilateral trade between Singapore and Malaysia amounted to S$77.2 billion. Of this, telecommunication equipment exports to and imports from Malaysia formed S$1.7 billion (4.5%) and S$1.8 billion (4.9%) of Singapore's total import and export figures respectively.

The MRA will also allow both countries to recognise each other's testing and certification processes. This in turn, will boost market access opportunities for telecommunications equipment manufacturers and vendors and make telecommunications equipment more affordable and accessible to consumers. With this bilateral agreement, telecommunication equipment companies can expect to save up to S$970 per model and will be able get their products to market up to 30 days earlier by not having to test and certify the same equipment in both countries.

Dr Lee Boon Yang (third from right) and his Malaysian counterpart Dr Lim Keng Yaik

Dr Lee Boon Yang (third from right) and his Malaysian counterpart Dr Lim Keng Yaik (third from left), Minister for Energy, Water and Communications signing the Joint  Statement on Tuesday.

The Joint Statement was signed at the side of the fourth ASEAN TELMIN meeting in Bangkok, Thailand by Singapore's Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, Dr. Lee Boon Yang and Malaysia's Minister of Energy, Water and Communications, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik. The Statement marks the agreement between Singapore and Malaysia to begin negotiations to remove duplicative testing and reduce the cost and time required to bring telecommunications equipment into both markets.

Typically, telecommunications equipment needs to be tested to the standards of the receiving country before it can be certified and approved for sale. Under the proposed bilateral agreement, Singapore and Malaysia will first accept equipment test reports issued by accredited test laboratories recognised by each country. This is known as Phase I of the bilateral MRA. In Phase II, countries will accept equipment which is compliant to the technical specifications of each country, as certified by independent certification bodies.

Dr Lee Boon Yang (fourth from right) and Dr Lim Keng Yaik (second from left)

Dr Lee Boon Yang (fourth from right) and Dr Lim Keng Yaik (second from left), seal the Joint Statement with a handshake.

On the Joint Statement issued, Dr. Lee Boon Yang remarked, "Singapore looks forward to working with Malaysia to further enhance the common interests of the two countries. Given the already close economic relations, I am confident the Mutual Recognition Arrangement or MRA will benefit both businesses and consumers by way of faster time to market and reduced costs. We believe this agreement will also have a useful pathfinder effect to spur the implementation of the ASEAN MRA initiative by other ASEAN countries."

This bilateral initiative arose from the last ASEAN TELMIN 3 Ministerial meeting held in Singapore in September 2003. At this meeting, member countries agreed to expedite the implementation of the MRAs for telecommunications equipment conformity testing by 2005.


ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

Notes to Editors:

1ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, consists of Brunei Darussalam, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Union of Myanmar, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

2 ASEAN TELMIN is a meeting of ASEAN Ministers handling telecommunications and information technology. The annual meeting seeks to strengthen ties, promote rapport and establish concrete channels of communication and cooperation among ASEAN nations. The meeting also provides policy direction for the e-ASEAN initiative and is an opportunity for ASEAN to form a caucus to influence international ICT developments. In due course, the forum aims to forge closer cooperation with counterparts in the rest of the region and beyond.

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) develops, promotes and regulates info-communications in Singapore, with the aim of establishing Singapore as one of the world's premier infocomm capitals. To nurture an internationally competitive infocomm industry, IDA offers a comprehensive range of programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/

For media clarifications, please contact:

Ms Noraizah Zainal Abidin
Assistant Manager, Corporate & Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Fax: +65 6211-2227
Email: noraizah@imda.gov.sg

LAST UPDATED: 17 MAR 2023