June 14, 2018 11:27
Singapore, the host city of the historic U.S.-North Korea summit on Tuesday, could be the biggest winner of the high-stakes diplomatic event.
According to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the city state footed a bill of 20 million Singaporean dollars by hosting the summit but has already broken even.
Some 4,000 people, including 2,500 reporters from around the world, came to Singapore for the summit, and the money they spent on accommodation, food and other expenses translate into direct proceeds for Singapore. The Singaporean government earned 3.15 million dollars from selling commemorative coin alone.
The long-term gains, both tangible and intangible, are more difficult to quantify. Singapore has been steadily bolstering its cachet as venue for conferences and exhibitions. The summit has consolidated its image as a safe neutral setting for high-level diplomatic meetings.
Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported Wednesday that Singapore has emerged as the Geneva of Asia, after the Swiss city that served as the stage for talks between the U.S. and Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The Singaporean government moved in quickly for a chance to host the summit. Once North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had arrived, the city state's foreign minister gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a guided tour of nighttime attractions, and the government let Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump use a suitably impressive 80-year-old hardwood table from Singapore's Supreme Court to sign their landmark agreement.
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