Jordan, Singapore forge closer ties

With people being their most precious resource, leaders of Singapore and Jordan have signed an agreement to further ties in human capital development.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in human resource development was sealed during the second state visit of Jordanian King Abdullah II. Second Minister for Foreign Affairs Grace Fu and Mr Nasser Judeh, Jordan's Foreign Affairs Minister, inked the accord.

It builds on an earlier one and extends the areas of cooperation to economic development, public administration, trade facilitation, water management and sustainable development. "This is an extension as well as an expansion," said Ms Fu on Monday. "The two countries have many similarities. We are both small countries in our regions and we have many similarities in terms of thought... This is one way to establish a strong relationship."

The earlier MOU led to the setting up of the Regional Vocational Training Centre in Jordan to train people for the building sector. The programme, which involved Singapore's Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East, trained some 150 in air-conditioner installation and maintenance.

King Abdullah visited ITE's East campus on Monday to explore other training options. Jordan, with a population of 6.5 million and 30 universities, is focusing on improving vocational training.

He also called on President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana and attended a state banquet.

"Developments in the Middle East over the last few years have been unprecedented," President Tan noted in his speech and commended the King's leadership.

"As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Jordan will play an important role in ensuring international peace and maintaining security," he said, adding that Jordan could count on Singapore's support.

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