PM Lee Hsien Loong to speak at Asian-African Summit

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong is visiting Jakarta today and tomorrow to attend the second Asian-African Summit.

He will speak at the summit's plenary session tomorrow, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

This year's meeting, where other leaders from Asia and Africa will also speak, has its theme as "Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity".

South-South cooperation is a broad term used to describe developing economies - most of which are in the Southern Hemisphere - working together to exchange know-how, skills and resources to help one another develop.

One of the aims of this year's summit is to strengthen the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) as a platform to promote inter-regional dialogue and practical cooperation between Asian and African countries.

The NAASP was launched at the first Asian-African Summit in 2005, also in Indonesia, which Mr Lee and several other world leaders attended.

This evening, Mr Lee will attend a gala dinner at the presidential palace hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for visiting Asian and African leaders.

Mr Lee will also meet his counterparts from Asian and African countries on the sidelines of the summit, the PMO statement said.

He is being accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the PMO.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be the acting prime minister in Mr Lee's absence, the statement added.

ZAKIR HUSSAIN