President Tan on first state visit to Myanmar, marks deepening ties

PRESIDENT Tony Tan Keng Yam will arrive in Myanmar tomorrow (Mon) on a state visit that is a first by Singapore since both countries established diplomatic ties in 1966.

The five-day visit is at the invitation of Myanmar President U Thein Sein. It marks the deepening ties between Singapore and Myanmar since the reform-minded former general assumed his position in 2011.

President Tan's first official stop will be at Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw, where he will receive a ceremonial welcome. He will call on and be hosted to a state banquet by President Thein Sein, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Sunday (Mar 31).

He will also meet the Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament Thura U Shwe Mann and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League of Democracy, the main opposition party.

President Tan will then visit the major cities of Mandalay and Yangon, said the MFA statement. He will meet and be hosted to dinner by the respective region's chief ministers: U Ye Myint and U Myint Swe.

In Mandalay, he will view a training programme in pediatric emergency care, which is funded by Singapore's Temasek Foundation and conducted by KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

In Yangon, besides meeting Singaporeans based in Myanmar at a dinner reception, he will officiate the opening of an International Enterprise Singapore (IE) office. The event is part of the Singapore-Myanmar Business Forum taking place on Thursday (April 4), said IE in a separate statement on Sunday.

President Tan is accompanied by Mrs Tan, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Mrs Khaw, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, Members of Parliament Irene Ng and Tin Pei Ling, and officials from MFA, MTI and the Housing Board.