Amidst global uncertainties, Singapore underscores the importance of active foreign policy

President Tharman underscored the importance of an active foreign policy that would enable the nation to respond effectively to emerging issues and opportunities, positioning itself strategically in the evolving global landscape.

Singapore’s President Tharman Shanmugaratnam emphasized the imperative for an active foreign policy during his address on Friday (Jan 26), underscoring the important role it plays in safeguarding the nation’s interests amid the prevailing global uncertainty.

In his statement, President Tharman highlighted the necessity for Singapore to engage proactively with other countries. He also stressed that such a dynamic approach is essential for expressing the nation’s perspectives on global affairs while simultaneously maintaining and updating crucial diplomatic relationships.

President Tharman remarked during his address that as a small country, it holds greater significance to maintain an active foreign policy. He emphasized the importance of not aiming to shape the world according to one’s ideals but ensuring the ability to serve Singapore’s interests as the global landscape transforms.

As the world faces unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, ranging from geopolitical tensions to economic fluctuations and public health crises, Singapore recognizes the importance of being proactive rather than reactive. President Tharman underscored the importance of an active foreign policy that would enable the nation to respond effectively to emerging issues and opportunities, positioning itself strategically in the evolving global landscape.

Furthermore, President Tharman underscored the significance of constant engagements with other countries. The nation can address emerging challenges collaboratively by staying informed and involved, ensuring a more stable and secure future. The engagements with other nations are done at many levels starting from the political leaders and senior officials to the business professionals.

The President’s call for an active foreign policy aligns with Singapore’s commitment to being a responsible global citizen. Mr Tharman also said that the world order was gradually being eroded and was splintering. We had to take the world as it is. He further added by saying, “We are tiny. We express our views and stand by our principles, but we have to learn to interact with countries as they evolve. And they don’t always evolve in a direction we may think best but that’s not ours to decide.”

The president also asserted that he intends to be an active head of state and through his presidential duties and non-traditional roles like chairing international bodies, he wants to further the interests of Singapore. President Tharman’s remarks highlight the nation’s determination to secure its interests and contribute meaningfully to resolving global challenges.
Singapore’s decision to adopt a more active foreign policy reflects a pragmatic response to the uncertainties prevalent in today’s world. President Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s statement emphasizes Singapore’s commitment to navigating the complex international landscape while safeguarding its interests and promoting collaboration on the global stage.