The Middle East Institute was established in 2007 as an autonomous research organization within the National University of Singapore. Its mission is to generate scholarly and policy research on the broader Middle East (the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa), with a particular emphasis on the growing interactions between the region and Singapore/Southeast Asia. Its principal foci are politics and security, economics and business, and culture and society.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a top-tier teaching and research institution that consistently ranks among the best in the world. Its faculty includes many scholars from American and European universities. Among NUS’ 22 research institutes and centers are the Asia Research Institute, the East Asian Institute, and the Institute of South Asian Studies. NUS maintains ties with international institutions such as Duke University, Technische Universitat Munchen, Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, University of California-Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. For further information please visit the website at http://www.nus.edu.sg/.
About Singapore and the Middle East
At the end of the thirteenth century, families of Arab traders began to settle in Southeast Asia. Family ties between relatives in Hadhramaut, for example, and Singapore engendered close cultural and economic links between the Middle East (especially the southern Arabian Peninsula) and Southeast Asia. The cultural enclave of the Arab Quarter in Singapore is a vibrant manifestation of this relationship. The Malay Muslim community, with its strong affinities to the Arab and Muslim worlds, comprises approximately 14 percent of Singapore’s population. Increasing numbers of Singapore companies in the fields of oil and gas, finance, investment, and infrastructure are active in Middle Eastern markets. Singapore also has established a presence in many other fields such as environmental technologies, logistics, retail, and tourism. In 2008, the GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) signified a new era of cooperation. These developments will undoubtedly deepen and diversify.