US Signs Cybersecurity Agreements with Singapore

The United States and Singapore have agreed to cooperate on cybersecurity and climate change issues.

On August 23, Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, announced that three cybersecurity agreements had been signed by the cyber, defense, and finance agencies of both countries. 

The announcement was made during a visit to Singapore by US vice president Kamala Harris. On Monday, Loong and Harris spent 90 minutes together in a meeting that Harris described as “productive.”

Speaking at a joint press conference on Tuesday, Harris said: “Today, we are in Singapore to stress and reaffirm our enduring relationship to this country and in this region, and to reinforce a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and to reaffirm our mutual interests in peace and stability in Southeast Asia.”

Loong said that the agreements would deepen collaboration between the two countries on critical technology, data security, the sharing of best practices, and infrastructure defense.

The first agreement is a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore that aims to help both financial sectors share information on cyber-threats to financial markets and be more prepared for and resilient to cyber-threats.

A second MOU was signed between the US Defense Department and the Singapore Ministry of Defense. The White House said the agreement “will support broad defense cooperation to advance cybersecurity information sharing, exchange of threat indicators, combined cyber training and exercises, and other forms of military-to-military cooperation on cyber issues.”

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) signed the third MOU in a bid to improve the exchange of intelligence on cyber-threats and defensive measures, increase coordination for cyber-incident response, and enable cybersecurity capacity building across Southeast Asia.  

The two countries further agreed to start a new Climate Partnership oriented toward green solutions around goods, services and technology, and carbon credits. 

Harris began a three-day visit to Singapore on August 22 by meeting with Singapore’s president, Halimah Yacob. The meeting took place at the Istana, where a new orchid hybrid – the Papilionanda Kamala Harris – had been named in the vice president’s honor. 

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