1. Minister for Communications and Information Mrs Josephine Teo is currently on an official visit to Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK) from 5 December to 7 December 2022. During the trip, she:
i. Signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ROK’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) that will pave the way for bilateral Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and information exchange, while helping our businesses to adopt AI for growth and to do so responsibly.
ii. Visited government agencies and leading Korean companies to learn about the ROK’s tech ecosystem and strategies, and reaffirmed plans to cultivate innovative technologies based on private-public sector cooperation.
Signing of Korea-Singapore Artificial Intelligence Memorandum of Understanding
2. The ROK and Singapore share a strong partnership in the digital space. Recently, on 21 November 2022, both countries signed the Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement (KSDPA) in Singapore to strengthen our digital trade architecture and deepen our digital connectivity, especially through collaborations in new and emerging technologies such as AI.
3. Minister Teo met with the ROK’s Minister of Science and ICT, Mr. Lee Jong-Ho, and re-affirmed the areas of digital cooperation set out in the KSDPA and discussed on areas of mutual interest relating to the digital economy. Building on the KSDPA, the highlight of the trip was the signing of the Korea-Singapore AI MOU on 6 December by Minister Teo and Minister Lee. The MOU is a milestone in digital partnership between the two countries, and will allow the exchange of AI technologies and experiences in promoting the responsible use of AI.
4. The ROK is a like-minded partner with strong research capabilities, industry-academia partnerships, and AI talent. Under the MOU, Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), will work together with the ROK’s MSIT to:
i. Increase access to AI technologies and talent: This will aid in bringing cutting-edge Korean technology and talent to Singapore to drive impactful AI use-cases;
ii. Link research and industry activities to support the commercialisation of AI applications: This will accelerate the translation of AI research into commercial applications in both countries for the benefit of all stakeholders;
iii. Strengthen the exchange of AI best practices: This will help both countries improve AI policies and strategies by learning from each other’s successes and shortcomings; and
iv. Support the alignment of AI governance frameworks: Such efforts will facilitate responsible development and adoption of AI by the industry, potentially reduce costs for companies in implementing trustworthy AI solutions, and contribute to the development of international standards in AI.
Visits to leading Korean companies
5. On 5 and 6 December, Minister Teo visited key Korean companies, such as Samsung Electronics, Naver Corporation, and SK Telecomm, who shared about their cutting-edge innovations in AI as well as in the Metaverse, 5G/6G technology, and quantum computing.
6. Minister Teo also visited Kakao Healthcare to learn about its MedTech and AI in Healthcare capabilities, and toured the Healthcare Innovation Park at the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital to learn about the ROK’s Doctor Answer 2.0 project, as well as how the hospital was making use of AI and other technologies to improve patient care and staff productivity. On the evening of 6 December, Minister Teo will engage Singaporean representatives based in the ROK, to share about the Forward Singapore exercise, and exchange views and perspectives.
7. On 7 December, Minister Teo will meet with Mr Jean Koh, Chairman of the ROK’s Presidential Committee on Digital Platform Government (DGP) to learn about the ROK’s DGP initiative and explore opportunities to deepen collaboration between DGP and Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
Annex A: Opening remarks by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information, at the signing of the Artificial Intelligence Memorandum of Understanding between Singapore and Republic of Korea on 6 December 2022
Annex B: Photos and captions of Minister Josephine Teo’s official visit to Republic of Korea