In his inaugural remarks, Ambassador of Singapore to Egypt Dominic Goh said "We celebrate our Singapore’s National Day celebration with our friends and fellow Singaporeans,” explaining to attendees that the national anthem – “Onward, Singapore” – has been the country’s motto since independence when “our first leaders faced the seemingly insurmountable challenge of building an ethnically divided nation, and growing an economy in a country with no natural resources.”
"Singapore has come a long way since then. But even as we celebrate Singapore’s achievements today, we must also remember that Singapore did not, and cannot, move onward on its own," affirmed Goh.
He added that "ties between Egypt and Singapore have also deepened in that time. Our companies now have a sizeable presence in Egypt. We have become Egypt’s fourth largest Asian investor, with over one billion dollars’ worth of investments. Through Singapore’s investments, we create thousands of jobs, support the livelihoods of thousands more farmers and their families and generate export revenue for Egypt."
The ambassador thanked Egypt for its role in helping Singapore develop over the years, praising it for being the first Arab country to recognise their independence and establish diplomatic relations with them.
“Even though both countries may seem far apart, developments in Egypt have had a fundamental impact on Singapore,” he said, referring to the Suez Canal as an important part of Singapore’s rise to prominence as a global shipping hub.
“From the beginning, we have had a win-win partnership," Said Goh
In addition to the economic relationship, the ambassador also pointed to the religious ties between the two countries, given Singapore’s large Muslim population.
“We have more than 200 Singaporean students in Al-Azhar [University]. They join a long tradition of Singaporean religious scholars who have ventured the halls of this illustrious institution. It is no wonder that our current and previous Muftis are also Al-Azhar graduates.”
The ambassador expressed his gratitude that normal ties between the two countries have resumed after being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to recent visits by high-level officials to each other’s countries.
This included a visit by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Singapore in March, and a recent visit by Singapore’s Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean to Cairo where he met with Shoukry and Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad.
Goh said he looks forward to more diplomatic exchange with Egypt to tackle global challenges, chief among them global warming, which is an existential threat for Singapore, a small island nation.
He concluded his remarks by praising Egypt for hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) this year, promising to support it in whatever way they can.