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Building Bridges, Creating Opportunities

13 September 2005 - Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts At Singapore-Kuwait Signing Ceremony for Cooperation in e-Government, Shangri-La Hotel.

Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts At Singapore-Kuwait Signing Ceremony for Cooperation in e-Government on 13 September 2005, Shangri-La Hotel.

His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed, Minister of Communications and Health, State of Kuwait,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This morning, His Excellency, Sheikh Ahmed and I have formalised the renewed partnership in e-government between the Government of the State of Kuwait and the Government of the Republic of Singapore.

The signing of this second Memorandum of Understanding on e-Government co-operation is a reflection of the strong ties between our two countries which begun when the Prime Minister of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah, visited Singapore in July 2004, and agreed with then-Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Goh Chok Tong to strengthen bilateral trade and economic links between Kuwait and Singapore.

Under the first MOU signed on 15 September 2004, the Singapore Project team comprising e-Government specialists from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore worked on developing an Implementation Blueprint for the establishment of a new IT Entity and an e-Government Blueprint for the State of Kuwait. I am happy to announce that these have been completed and submitted to His Excellency, Sheikh Ahmed. This marks the successful conclusion of the first MOU.

For the past one year, the MOU Working Group comprising officials from the Kuwait Government and the Singapore Project team have been working closely. This fruitful working relationship has served as a platform for the exchange of good ideas. It has also made it easier for both teams to overcome the challenge of mapping out Kuwait's e-government strategy. Under the visionary leadership and guidance of His Excellency, Sheikh Ahmed, the Kuwait-Singapore Working Group came up with many good ideas and recommendations for the Government of Kuwait to consider in accelerating its e-Government efforts.

In the Second MOU, we hope to carry on this good relation by extending the cooperation to cover exchanges between senior officials of both countries on strategic issues related to national IT planning and development; e-Government trends and best practices. Singapore will support and assist Kuwait to select suitable private sector e-government solution providers to implement projects identified under the e-Government Blueprint. Specifically, Singapore will assist Kuwait in the drafting of the RFP (Request for Proposals) specifications at the pre-tendering stage; and will assist in the evaluation of RFP submissions and recommend suitable e-Government solution providers at the tendering stage. The enhanced cooperation between the two countries signals Singapore's commitment to follow through with the good work done under the first MOU.

This second MOU further fosters the friendships between the people of our two countries. I believe that such co-operation on e-government is a win-win partnership for both countries, allowing e-government specialists in the public and private sectors of both countries to find new opportunities for collaboration. This will in turn contribute to our respective socio-economic development and help to enhance the competitive edge for both countries.

The signing of this MOU is another milestone that will elevate our bilateral relations to an even higher level. I look forward to a long-lasting partnership that will not only strengthen existing relations but also open up new areas for cooperation and mutual benefits to Kuwait and Singapore.

Thank you.