Singapore, HK discuss ways to boost ties

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat met Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam yesterday. They said Singapore and Hong Kong have many common interests and cooperate well in areas such as education and finance. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INF
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat met Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam yesterday. They said Singapore and Hong Kong have many common interests and cooperate well in areas such as education and finance. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat met Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam yesterday to reaffirm good relations between the two cities and discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in new and existing areas.

Mr Heng - who is also Finance Minister - and Chief Executive Lam noted that both cities share many common interests and cooperate well in a number of areas, including education and finance.

For example, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) hosted a team from its Hong Kong counterpart in Singapore for a study visit last week.

Senior Minister of State for MEWR and Health Amy Khor also visited Hong Kong last year to study waste management practices.

Mr Heng and Mrs Lam also touched on how Singapore and Hong Kong can strengthen cooperation in areas such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, as well as China's Belt and Road Initiative.

In a statement from the Chief Executive's Office, Mrs Lam said during the meeting that the people-to-people exchanges and trade ties between Hong Kong and Singapore have always been close and that the two places share similar backgrounds and developments.

She added that both cities are among the most competitive economies in the world and have a lot to learn from each other.

Pointing out that Hong Kong is committed to developing innovation and technology and has devoted substantial resources, Mrs Lam expressed the hope to explore more collaboration in areas such as biotech, fintech and start-ups with research centres, educational institutes and enterprises in Singapore, the statement said.

 

During their discussions, Mrs Lam also expressed appreciation for Singapore's support for Asean-Hong Kong cooperation.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan hosted Mr Heng for dinner. The pair exchanged views on the global economic outlook and recent industry developments such as financial technology.

Mr Heng was accompanied on the trip by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat.

Before his 24-hour visit to Hong Kong, Mr Heng spent eight days in China. It was his first visit there since becoming Deputy Prime Minister earlier this month.

He flew to Tokyo yesterday to attend the 25th Nikkei conference.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore, HK discuss ways to boost ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe