On 29 September 2017, in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Singapore, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National University of Singapore hosted the first Arctic Frontiers seminar in Asia. The event entitled “The Future of the Arctic: Geopolitical, Environmental and Business Perspectives” brought together representatives from the Norwegian and Singaporean governments, business, and academia. The seminar attracted an audience of about 100 people.

In the opening session, Singapore’s Minister of State Sam Tan (Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Mr. Ole Øvretveit (Director, Arctic Frontiers) delivered welcoming remarks. Both speakers emphasized the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and sustainable development practices in the Arctic region.

(Photo Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore)

Next was a speech by Dr. Jan-Gunnar Winther (Specialist Director, Norwegian Polar Institute), titled “Arctic Cooperation in Times of Climate Change”. In his speech, Dr. Winther spoke about the effects of climate change on the Arctic and Singapore, emphasising “what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.”

(Photo Credit: Norwegian Embassy in Singapore)

This was followed by two session panels. The theme of the first session was “Political Cooperation and Science Diplomacy in the Arctic”. It was moderated by Professor Anne Husebekk (Rector, the University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)). The panellists included Ambassador Anniken Krutnes (Special Representative for the Arctic and Antarctic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway), Mr. Peter Tan (Senior Arctic Official and Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore), Professor Rasmus Gjeldssø Bertelsen (UiT), and Dr. Christopher Len (Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore).

(Photo Credit: ESI)

The second session was devoted to the topic of “Responsible Business in the Arctic” moderated by Mr. Ole Øvretveit (Director, Arctic Frontiers). The panellists were Ms. Liv Monica Stubholt (Partner, Selmer law firm), Ms. Toril Inga Røe Utvik (Manager, Arctic Unit at Statoil), Mr. Robert Sumantri (Vice President, Rigs & Floaters, Gravifloat AS, Sembcorp Marine), Mr. Esben Poulsson (President, Singapore Shipping Association), and Ms. Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria (Regional Manager, Maritime Operations at DNV-GL).

(Photo Credit: Arctic Frontiers)

Norway’s Ambassador-designate to Singapore, Her Excellency Anita Nergaard, delivered the concluding remarks. She thanked the participants and reiterated the importance of dialogue between key stakeholders in the Arctic and actors outside the region, as well continued government, scientific and business cooperation between Norway and Singapore for mutual benefit.

For more information, click on the following links:

Arctic Frontiers

MFA Press Statement

Arctic Frontiers Abroad Forum in Singapore - Event Agenda

(Posted on 2 October 2017)