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Country Information

 August 25, 2001
Singapore-Philippines Agreement To Increase Economic & Social Benefits

 Singapore and the Philippines have (August 25) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tourism. This will see stronger collaboration between the two countries to boost tourist traffic from international markets.

The MOU was signed between the Hon. Richard J. Gordon, Secretary of Tourism, Philippines' Department of Tourism, and Mr Peter Chen, Acting Minister, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry. This signing was witnessed by H.E Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, and Singapore's Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. The two parties which are responsible for the execution of the MOU are the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

The MOU will see Singapore and the Philippines working together on tourism strategies to address mutual areas of benefit. These include joint marketing and promotional activities, as well as sharing of expertise.

The tourism MOU also calls for the private sector in both countries to work on joint promotional programmes and to develop tour packages that feature both Singapore and the Philippines. Presently, STB is already working with travel agents on regional joint promotions. Through this agreement STB and DOT will encourage travel agents in Singapore, Philippines and in our source markets to develop specific Singapore-Philippines linked tour packages. For example, visitors will be able to experience the exotic and natural aspects of the Philippines islands, while also taking in the delights of the urban lifestyle of Singapore.

Additionally, the MOU will serve as a means to jointly come up with more creative ways of increasing awareness for the two countries among travelers in international markets. Rather than competing with each other, the initiative will see both republics complementing each other, in unique and innovative ways.

With these efforts, increased joint investments and cross cultural exchanges are anticipated. Last year Singapore was the sixth largest foreign investor and top ASEAN investor in the Philippines. Said Mr Yeo Khee Leng, STB's Chief Executive: "With this MOU, multiple spin-offs are expected. The benefits will be win-win for both parties, and not just with regards to the tourism industry. Economic and cultural benefits are also set to increase with the closer working relationship."

Air capacity between Singapore and the Philippines needs to be increased as more tourists visit both destinations. Added Mr Yeo: "The signing of the MOU on air services is a very welcomed move. It bodes well for our new tourism cooperation efforts. STB and DOT will continuously work with our respective aviation authorities towards even further liberalisation of bilateral air services in tandem with the increased demand for such services.