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Arctic Yearbook 2012
Singapore: An Emerging Arctic Actor
the industry globally” (Wong, Ho, & Singh, 2010: 99). The Keppel Corporation is a founding
member of CORE.
Singapore has not, to date, articulated a public strategy on the Arctic. Singapore’s Arctic interest
likely represents the logical extension of its more general interest in important developments in
international maritime policy, including the importance it places on UNCLOS, the IMO and
regional maritime cooperation. However, Singapore, at the state and institutional levels, has
important strategic economic interests related to the opening up of the Arctic for shipping and
resource extraction. Singapore’s competence in the management of complex port infrastructure and
the fostering of global leaders in the offshore marine and engineering industry represent important
new niches for two industries that are critical to the Singapore economy and closely linked to the
Singapore government.
Singapore’s application for observer status at the Arctic Council and the appointment of an Arctic
envoy in early 2012 indicate that Singapore has Arctic ambitions. Singapore is viewed as expending
significant diplomatic effort to obtain a consensus on its Arctic Council status.
Singapore’s Arctic policy is in its early stages of definition. It is not yet clear whether efforts to
contribute to Arctic governance represent a long-term foreign policy commitment or if Singapore’s
Arctic diplomacy is driven primarily by an ambition to exploit an emerging market in which it sees
itself as a technological and expertise leader.
Conversation with Singaporean MFA official, October 2012.
Communication between Singapore’s Arctic Envoy, Ambassador Siddique, and the authors.
“Ad-hoc observer status for specific meetings may be granted to the present applicants for
observer status according to the Rules of Procedure until the Ministers have decided upon their
applications. Ad-hoc observer status will no longer be applied otherwise and appropriate
amendments will be made to the Rules of Procedure.” - Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) (May,
Report to Ministers
, Nuuk, Greenland, 51. Retrieved (10.5.12) from, http://www.arctic-
Interviews with diplomatic and civil society personnel familiar with Singapore’s activities at the
Arctic Council.