President Tan's visit to Mexico marks 40 years of ties

President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

President Tony Tan Keng Yam will arrive in Mexico City today (8am tomorrow, Singapore time) for a state visit to Mexico.

His five-day trip is the first state visit by a Singapore President to a Latin American nation, and commemorates 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

While in Mexico, Dr Tan will receive a ceremonial welcome at the National Palace in Mexico City, and will meet Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

President Pena Nieto, who visited Singapore in 2013 during the first year of his administration, will host Dr Tan to a state lunch.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement yesterday that Dr Tan will receive the symbolic key to Mexico City from Dr Miguel Angel Mancera, the city's head of government.

He will also attend a business luncheon jointly organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment, and Technology.

Representatives from Mexican companies and Singapore companies on a business mission in the city will be at the luncheon.

Trade agency IE Singapore and SBF are organising the business mission in conjunction with Dr Tan's state visit.

Mexico is Singapore's second- largest trading partner in Latin America, after Panama, and the 26th largest globally. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $4.59 billion last year.

The Republic's business interest in Mexico lies mainly in oil and gas, manufacturing, and urban infrastructure planning and management.

Dr Tan will be accompanied by his wife Mary.

Also in the Singapore delegation are Trade and Industry (Trade) Minister Lim Hng Kiang, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, and MPs Tin Pei Ling and Darryl David.

Senior officials from MFA, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, IE Singapore, and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority will also be on the trip.

Dr Maliki is set to attend the inaugural Singapore Film Festival in Mexico City from tomorrow to Sunday (Thursday to Monday, Singapore time).

The festival, organised by MFA, the Media Development Authority, and Cineteca Nacional from Mexico, will open with a screening of 7 Letters, an anthology by seven Singaporean film-makers celebrating Singapore's golden jubilee last year.

Other Singapore works to be screened include Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo, Eric Khoo's 12 Storeys and Royston Tan's 881.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2016, with the headline 'President Tan's visit to Mexico marks 40 years of ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe