Ministers, senior officials from Pacific Island States and Timor Leste to visit S'pore for study trip

SINGAPORE - Ministers and senior officials from 14 Pacific Island States, as well as Timor Leste, will be in Singapore from Tuesday (Feb 7) till Thursday for a study visit.

The heads of key regional organisations in the Pacific - the Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Islands Development Forum, and the Pacific Community - will be present too.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement that this is the second such visit, following the first Singapore-Pacific Ministerial Study Visit held in 2012.

Participants will call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during their time here.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli will also host meals for them.

The study visit is an opportunity for Singapore to share its development experience and exchange views with the ministers in areas such as climate change and sustainable development, the MFA said.

Singapore has trained close to 5,000 officials from the Pacific Island States and Timor Leste under the Singapore Cooperation Programme since its inception in 1992.

Through the programme, Singapore trains foreign officials in areas such as human resource and economic development.

During the visit, participants will be briefed on Singapore's experience in areas such as port management, water management, and public administration.

The UN Development Programme's Global Centre for Public Service Excellence, based in Singapore, will also conduct a half-day programme on effective public service reform to achieve sustainable development.

Singapore and the Cook Islands will sign an open skies agreement on this trip.

The MFA said Singapore enjoys warm and friendly ties with the Pacific Island States and Timor Leste.

The Republic also cooperates regularly with the island states in international fora, such as the Forum of Small States and the Small Island Developing States.