Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to make four-day visit to Mongolia, attend Asem summit

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will arrive in Mongolia on July 13, for an official visit and to attend the Asem Summit.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will arrive in Mongolia on July 13, for an official visit and to attend the Asem Summit.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives in Mongolia tomorrow (July 13) for an official visit and to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) Summit.

The four-day trip will start with the official visit - the first by a Singapore Prime Minister to Mongolia since diplomatic ties were established in 1970 - the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Tuesday (July 12).

While in the capital city Ulaanbaatar, Mr Lee will be hosted to a welcome lunch by Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat, who was elected to his post last week after his Mongolian People's Party won the country's parliamentary election.

Mr Lee will also call on Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Speaker of Parliament Miyeegombo Enkhbold.

He will also attend a reception where he will meet Singaporeans based in Mongolia, businessmen from both countries, and Mongolians who have attended Singapore's technical assistance programmes and universities.

Relations between both countries are cordial and Singapore has received several high-level visits from Mongolia over the years.

The most recent was by Mr Elbegdorj, who made a state visit in 2013. Then-Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold made an official visit in 2011.

To date, the country, with a population of three million, has also sent 1,200 officials to Singapore for training in English, economic development and security, among other things, under the Singapore Cooperation Programme.

Bilateral trade is still modest, and stood at $64 million last year .

After the official visit, Mr Lee will attend the 11th Asem Summit in Ulaanbaatar from Friday to Saturday (July 15 to 16).

The biennial summit will mark the 20th anniversary of the informal, inter-governmental dialogue which aims to strengthen links between Asia and Europe.

In all, 34 heads of government and heads of state from 14 Asian and 20 European countries are scheduled to attend the summit to discuss global and regional issues, discuss how to strengthen Asia-Europe cooperation and chart the future direction of Asem.

Mr Lee will meet several of the leaders separately, the Prime Minister's Office added.

He will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, and senior officials from the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

PMO has said that Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be the Acting Prime Minister on July 13 and 14. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the Acting Prime Minister from July 15 to 17.