Arctic Circle Singapore Forum

In collaboration with the Singapore Maritime Institute and with the support of the Singapore Government, the Arctic Circle convened the Arctic Circle Singapore Forum on 12 November 2015 at the Marina Mandarin Singapore.

The Arctic Circle Singapore Forum is the second of a series of forums convened by the Arctic Circle outside of Iceland. It is also the first event of the Arctic Circle held in Asia. Over 150 delegates attended the Forum, including academics, scientists, maritime and financial business leaders, and government representatives.

The Forum was opened by President of Iceland H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr. Teo Chee Hean.

President Grímsson said that “the Arctic is a big part of our planet and crucial for the future success of humankind. It is very rich in multiple resources, which are of great importance for the 21st Century global economy. The melting of Arctic sea ice would also open new sea routes, linking Asia to Europe and North America in a new way”.

The Arctic Circle was founded two years ago and is now one of the most important international venues for extensive dialogue on the Arctic. The Arctic Circle Singapore Forum demonstrates the vision and commitment of Singapore to be a constructive and leading partner in this new cooperation. President Grímsson highlighted that “for Iceland, the new strategic relationship with Singapore is also of paramount importance”.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo highlighted the importance of the Arctic as a bellwether for climate change, the far-reaching global economic impact of changes in the Arctic, and implications of new Arctic sea routes on the future of marine transportation as factors shaping the global prominence of Arctic issues today. He emphasised that Singapore is interested and engaged in ongoing developments in the Arctic. “Environmental and economic developments, even in a seemingly distant region like the Arctic, can impact Singapore – perhaps not immediately, but 50 years, or even 100 years, later”, Mr. Teo said.

On Singapore’s Arctic engagement as an observer state of the Arctic Council, Mr. Teo added that “Singapore is committed to deepening our understanding of the region and its people, and exploring how we can make useful contributions.”

Speakers at the Forum included Arctic Ambassadors, senior government officials, and representatives from the maritime industry, investment funds, and scientific institutes from both Arctic and non-Arctic states. They lent their expertise to discussions at the three plenary sessions, which focused on the governance of Arctic shipping, infrastructure development in the Arctic, and the role of oceanic science and research.

A dinner dialogue on “Advancing Global Cooperation on the Arctic” will be held, featuring remarks by H.E. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iceland; Mr. Sam Tan Chin Siong, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore; and Mr. Kim Chan Woo, Ambassador for Arctic Affairs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. President Grímsson will deliver closing remarks to conclude the Forum.

About the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle convenes the largest global gathering on the Arctic at its annual Assembly each October in Reykjavík, Iceland. The 2015 Assembly (16-18 October) was attended by over 2000 participants from more than 50 countries.

In addition to the annual Assemblies in Iceland, the Arctic Circle convenes smaller and more specialized forums in other countries. The forum in Singapore is the second such forum, following a summit on shipping and ports held this August in Anchorage, Alaska.

About the Singapore Maritime Institute

The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) is a joint effort by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Established in Jan 2011, SMI develops strategies and programmes related to the academic, policy and R&D aspects of the industry. Key focus areas include sectors such as port, shipping, maritime services, offshore and marine engineering, subsea and downhole. SMI charts the maritime and offshore research strategy and promotes greater industry-academia R&D collaborations to be undertaken in Singapore.

Please visit for more information on the Arctic Circle Singapore Forum.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jason Lin (Mr.) or Takeshi Kaji (Mr.)
Arctic Circle Singapore Forum Secretariat
DID: (65) 6270-2824
HP: (65) 9365-4522
Fax: (65) 6270-2885
Email: / /