Singapore, Thailand to expedite green lane talks

Border measures being tightened for travellers arriving from South Korea

Singapore

SINGAPORE and Thailand will work to expedite ongoing discussions on a reciprocal green-lane agreement for essential business travel between both countries, with necessary public health safeguards.

This was discussed in the Singapore-Thailand Political Consultations on Wednesday, held via video-conference and co-chaired by the permanent secretaries of Singapore and Thailand's respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Chee Wee Kiong and Busaya Mathelin.

Discussions on green lane arrangements have also begun with Indonesia. But separately on Wednesday, border measures were tightened for travellers arriving from South Korea.

In a statement on the Singapore-Thailand event, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Both permanent secretaries had productive talks on strengthening the resilience of supply chains and connectivity networks."

They also reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations between Singapore and Thailand and expressed appreciation for mutual assistance in the pandemic. They stressed the importance of strengthening Asean centrality and unity, and deepening regional economic integration through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to be signed later this year.

At the bilateral level, the permanent secretaries reviewed the good progress in areas such as trade and investment, defence, finance, education and people-to-people ties. They saw the opportunity for cooperation in new areas of growth in the post-Covid-19 era, such as the digital economy, connectivity, smart cities and cyber security.

Separately, border measures are being tightened for travellers arriving in Singapore after having been in South Korea - including in transit - in the last 14 days, the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

From Aug 29, such travellers will have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at dedicated facilities. Previously, they could serve this at their own place of residence.

The change is in response to a resurgence of cases in South Korea, with authorities having warned of a possible nationwide outbreak.