Aussie PM visits Singapore for talks with PM Lee Hsien Loong

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit Singapore on June 7 as part of his first overseas trip after being re-elected prime minister.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit Singapore on June 7 as part of his first overseas trip after being re-elected prime minister.PHOTO: DPA

They will discuss cooperation, exchange views on regional and global developments

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit Singapore today and meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The visit is part of an agreement, established under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), for the prime ministers to meet annually to discuss cooperation and exchange views on regional and international developments.

Mr Morrison's visit to Singapore is part of his first overseas trip after being re-elected prime minister last month. It comes after his first stop in the Solomon Islands and then London.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said PM Lee will host his counterpart to breakfast, followed by a delegation meeting.

The two leaders will also hold a press conference.

Mr Morrison will be accompanied by his wife Jennifer Morrison; Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne; and officials from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Morrison last visited Singapore last November for the Asean summit, where he also met PM Lee.

 
 
 

In March last year, PM Lee made an official visit to Sydney, where he met then Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, for the third Singapore-Australia Leaders' Summit.

Singapore and Australia elevated their ties with the establishment of the CSP in 2015, to deepen economic integration, expand defence cooperation and strengthen people-to-people ties, among other areas of cooperation.

In May 2016, they announced a substantial package of cooperation initiatives. These included the upgrading of the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 2003. The upgraded agreement came into effect in December 2017.

Singapore and Australia have also agreed to jointly develop military training areas and facilities in Queensland. When completed, the areas will allow Singapore troops to train for up to 18 weeks annually, from the current six to seven weeks.

On the people-to-people front, about 50,000 Singaporeans live, work or study in Australia, and more than 20,000 Australians do so in Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2019, with the headline 'Aussie PM visits S'pore for talks with PM Lee'. Print Edition | Subscribe