Willkommensansprache von Regierungsrätin Dr. Aurelia Frick für den neuen Honorarkonsul des Fürstentums Liechtenstein in Singapur, Herr CC Loo

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1 Willkommensansprache von Regierungsrätin Dr. Aurelia Frick für den neuen Honorarkonsul des Fürstentums Liechtenstein in Singapur, Herr CC Loo Donnerstag, 27. Juni 2013 Singapur

2 Es gilt das gesprochene Wort! Your Serene Highness, Dear Guests Introduction A warm welcome to all of you. It is great pleasure for me to be here. In my capacity as Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein this is my second visit to Singapore. I was here already two years ago, upon the invitation of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. George Yeo. I still have best memories of that visit and I was very much looking forward to coming back here. We were hosted with exceptional hospitality, as we are now. And it is great to see that the discussions we had two years ago are bearing fruit today. The opening of the Honorary Consulate of Liechtenstein in Singapore is a very happy reason for this reception here at the Raffles. It is a very special occasion indeed, this Honorary Consulate actually being the very first Honorary Consulate of Liechtenstein in Asia. This is a big step for a small country like ours. And it shows the special effort our Government is making to further deepen the relations with Singapore. Please allow me first a few words on Liechtenstein and our Foreign Policy before talking about our new Honorary Consul, Mr. CC Loo. Liechtenstein and its Foreign Policy The question of sovereignty is still an overarching goal in our Foreign Policy. But we increasingly have to deal with questions like the following: How do we gain as much freedom of action as possible? How do we express ourselves on the global stage so that our voice is heard? For a country of Liechtenstein s size, questions like these arise much more urgently than for larger countries. Our resources available for foreign policy are modest compared with those of other countries. They are both a challenge and a motivation. They demand a foreign policy that is clearly focused in terms of content. Our essential foreign policy interests must be defined, and that to a greater extent than in other states. This allows us to engage in a foreign policy that is effective, purposeful, and closely guided by interests. At the same time, we also have opportunities thanks to our size. The channels within the public administration are short in Liechtenstein. Decision-makers and the private sector are close. Our structures are unbureaucratic. Rapid and flexible action is possible. This allows us to take the best possible advantage of opportunities arising during negotiation processes. To represent our interests to the best extent possible, we position Liechtenstein as a reliable and committed partner showing solidarity in Europe and the world. This is my approach for achieving this goal. 2

3 Where we are engaged, we are engaged very strongly. We have to convince by adding value through content and knowledge. We are able do so and we are doing it, in well-selected areas. Liechtenstein has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to make a valuable contribution to the international community. Our relative «powerlessness» has frequently allowed us to advocate credibly and actively on behalf of internationally important issues. This has contributed substantially to Liechtenstein s foreign policy profile. The focus of Liechtenstein s foreign policy has traditionally been on neighbourhood policy and the relations with the neighbouring countries of Switzerland and Austria. We are linked with them through a shared history, a shared culture, through cooperation agreements and membership in the same geographical region, at the heart of Europe. Europe is our home base, and you have heard about its importance to us before from Ambassador Frick, such as of the fundamental importance of the EU Single Market for Liechtenstein s export economy. Yet the global power structure has been changing, and we are our course reflecting this in our Foreign Policy, so far mainly through high level visits and through the multilateral platforms. Multilateral frameworks allow us to use our resources most efficiently and to the greatest possible effect. One State, one vote. That is why they are of great importance to us. The United Nations are certainly the epicenter of our global network. Liechtenstein diplomats in New York, Geneva and Vienna work with colleagues also from Singapore on a daily basis on a wide range of issues. Our main priorities in our multilateral diplomacy concern the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and international criminal justice, effective humanitarian assistance, to name just a few. The most important priority for us at the United Nations, however, is to work with others to ensure that the UN continues to serve as the world s primary forum of global governance. We attach particular importance to this aspect, so that the powerful States do not turn away from the UN sooner or later. We are convinced that universality gives the decisions of the United Nations a unique legitimacy that is absolutely necessary for the effective implementation of those decisions. It also requires to work together make the UN more effective in today s fast-changing global environment. Wherever possible, Liechtenstein tries to play a role as bridge-builder and to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of the UN. And in this, we work very closely with Singapore, most prominently within the Global Governance Group, the so-called 3G. The 3G was created in 2009 as a Singapore initiative supported by Liechtenstein. Its aim is to promote access to and participation in relevant discussions at the G20. The 3G has been established in response to the London G20 Summit, where decisions with significant impact on nonmembers of the G20 were taken. With the years, the agenda of the G20 has broadened beyond economic policy coordination to the concern of the 3G. Under the leadership of Singapore the 3G s agenda-setting has been dynamic and the group is a now a well-established actor in global governance discussions. I am looking forward to further working with Singapore on this topic. Let me know turn to the bilateral relations with Singapore. The official diplomatic relationship between Liechtenstein and Singapore is a relatively young one. We established direct diplomatic relations in March 2010 only. Yet our bilateral relations 3

4 have already started before. Our Head of State, Prince Hans-Adam II as well as Hereditary Prince Alois visited Singapore already back in Also in 2002 we ratified our Free Trade Agreement between Singapore and the EFTA States Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In 2006 we joined the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. Since 2010 there have been different bilateral visits both in Singapore as well as in Liechtenstein as well as meetings in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. Singapore is an important global partner for Liechtenstein, in particular in Asia. This is also reflected in the composition of our delegation. Our delegation is headed by His Serene Highness, our Hereditary Prince, and consists of high-ranking officials as well as a business delegation comprising senior executives of prominent companies and associations from the financial services sector. Singapore and Liechtenstein have many things in common, including our factors for success: We are both States with a limited territorial size. We are both States with a liberal economic framework and political stability. The financial industry is an important factor of the economy. We share many of the same values of entrepreneurship, competitiveness, innovation and the benefits of hard work. We also share the importance of our international ties. And we are working very closely together in different areas at the UN, in particular towards strengthening multilateralism. It is our protection and our opportunity as a small State. Why now a Honorary Consulate? Due to our size we only have a few embassies abroad. We have embassies in our neighbouring countries Switzerland, Austria and Germany, furthermore also in Washington. On the multilateral level we have Permanent Missions in New York, Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg. So far our relations with countries from Asia have been covered by bilateral visits as well as by meetings in New York only. Since we see the system of Honorary Consulates as a successful element for us as far as spreading information networking as well as image building is concerned, the government has decided to go one step further and to start establishing it on the Asian continent. Our Honorary Consulates are a first, cost-effective step towards a stronger Liechtenstein presence in Asia. Singapore has been a very natural choice, being such a close partner for Liechtenstein and having so many things in common. CC Loo Let me now introduce Mr. CC Loo, our distinguished new Honorary Consul. I am very happy to open today our newest Honorary Consulate and the very first one in Asia, expanding the relationship of Liechtenstein with Singapore. It is a great honor for me to recognize Mr. CC Loo who 4

5 will serve as Honorary Consul of the Principality of Liechtenstein. In choosing CC Loo, we have found a very able and dedicated person to promote Liechtenstein. He will support us in enhancing and deepening relationship with Singapore. CC Loo is deeply connected to the region he will be representing. This is most important to effectively reaching out to the people here. I would like now to give you some background on our New Honorary Consul and now please allow me to read out a few sentences: Let me now introduce Mr. CC Loo, our distinguished Honorary Consul. I am very happy to open today our newest Consulate and the very first one in Asia, expanding the relationship of Liechtenstein with Singapore. It is a great honor for me to recognize Mr. CC Loo who will serve as the Honorary Consul of the Principality of Liechtenstein. In appointing Mr CC Loo, we have found a very able and dedicated person to promote Liechtenstein. He will represent and support us in enhancing and deepening relationship with Singapore. Mr CC Loo is deeply connected to the region he will be representing. This is most important to effectively reaching out to the people here. I would like now to give you some background on our Honorary Consul. Mr. CC Loo has had a distinguished legal career. He has been practising as an Advocate and Solicitor since 1981.He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Loo & Partners, a boutique law practice based in Singapore. He qualified as a Barrister-at-Law of the Lincoln's Inn, London, and obtained his Master of Law degree from the University of London. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London. Mr Loo handles primarily banking, corporate and commercial matters, and is the legal advisor to many governmental authorities, financial institutions and listed companies in the region. And where does the connection to Liechtenstein come in? Mr Loo knows Liechtenstein through the Liechtenstein Foundation for State Governance. The Foundation s purpose is the transfer of knowledge in essential areas of state governance. Mr Loo has visited Liechtenstein during his time of studies and a broad knowledge of our country. It is an honor and pleasure for me to present to you, Mr. CC Loo, on behalf of the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Instrument of Appointment signed jointly by H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein and Prime Minister Adrian Hasler, officially appointing you as Liechtenstein s Honorary Consul. And with this I officially declare our Consulate in Singapore open. Mr. Loo, I congratulate you on this appointment and wish you much success. Thank you very much. 5

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