Icelandic president on state visit to Singapore

Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson will be in Singapore for a three-day state visit from today to Friday.
Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson will be in Singapore for a three-day state visit from today to Friday.PHOTO: EPA

Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson will be in Singapore for a three-day state visit from today to Friday. The visit, the first by an Icelandic president here, is at the invitation of Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam, whom Mr Grimsson will call on after an official welcome ceremony at the Istana.

Mr Grimsson will also meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and be hosted to a state banquet by Dr Tan and his wife Mary Tan.

Tomorrow, he will open the Arctic Circle Singapore Forum with a keynote speech, along with Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. He will also chair the forum's dinner dialogue, which has the theme "Advancing Global Cooperation in the Arctic".

The forum is organised by Arctic Circle, a non-profit organisation co-founded by Mr Grimsson, and the Singapore Maritime Institute. It has the support of the Singapore Government.

Singapore was admitted as an observer state to the Arctic Council, a forum for inter-governmental cooperation among Arctic states, in May 2013. Developments in the Arctic will affect Singapore, being a small low-lying island and an international sea port.

Mr Grimsson is accompanied on his visit by his wife Dorrit Moussaieff, as well as Icelandic Foreign and External Trade Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and senior officials.

Mr Grimsson and his wife will visit the Botanic Gardens this morning, where an orchid will be named in their honour.

He will also visit the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

On Friday, he will visit the Centre for Liveable Cities, as well as the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which is a stopover point for more than 118 species of migratory birds, including several Arctic species.

Mr Grimsson will close his visit with a public lecture on "Clean Energy, Climate and the Arctic" under the Yale-NUS College President's Speaker series on Friday evening.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2015, with the headline 'Icelandic president on state visit to Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe