A friendship that is solid as gold and sweet as a fragrant orchid.
That is how President Moon described the close friendship between Seoul and Singapore, during a state banquet hosted by the Singaporean President Halimah Yacob.
"I believe such friendship was made between Singapore and Korea through this orchid."
It was a nod to an earlier event that President Moon and his wife, First Lady Kim Jung-sook attended at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where a newly cultured orchid was named after the first couple.
On Thursday afternoon, in front of about 300 business leaders from both countries gathered at Singapore's Shangrila Hotel, President Moon also called for Singapore's active support for his "New Southern Policy," especially with Singapore chairing the 2018 ASEAN Summit.
It was November last year when the South Korean President first introduced his vision to (quote) "dramatically strengthen" Seoul's cooperation with ASEAN nations, by focusing on the three Ps - people-centered exchanges, mutual prosperity, and peace.
President Moon highlighted three ways to bring about future-oriented cooperation between the two coutries.
He first said Korea and Singapore will secure future growth engines together in response to the fourth industrial revolution, especially by promoting the active participation of small businesses and innovative startups in the process.
"If Singapore's innovation capabilities and capital strength are combined with Korea's world-class information and communication technologies, we can create a huge synergy effect."
The President also emphasized that bilateral economic cooperation must work effectively to benefit the people of both countries, and that South Korea and Singapore must work together to prevent the spread of protectionism, noting that the foundation for the two countries' economic growth has been free trade and openness.
President Moon ended his speech with the expression, 'Majulah Singapura,' Malay for 'Onward Singapore.'
Even during the business forum, President Moon asked again for Singapore's continued support for establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula
He stressed that if South Korea and Singapore go onward, or majulah, together, not just Korea but the entire ASEAN will enjoy peace and co-prosperity.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News, Singapore.