PM Lee meets academics and business leaders in Sydney

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee being welcomed by Singapore Deputy High Commissioner to Australia Harold Lee (left) and Australian Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman on Oct 17. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

CANBERRA - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday met academics and business leaders in Sydney as part of his three-day visit to Australia from Oct 16 to 18.

The business luncheon was organised by the Asia Society Australia, and the roundtable discussion was with senior representatives and research fellows from the Lowy Institute.

In a Facebook post, PM Lee said his discussion at the Lowy Institute covered geostrategic developments and their impact on the region.

“Australia plays an important role in our region, through its active economic engagement and contributions to regional security,” he said.

During his lunch with business leaders, he welcomed Australian businesses in using the strong bilateral trade and economic links to build more partnerships with Singapore, particularly in the digital and green economies.

Other than the closed-door engagements, PM Lee is scheduled to attend the 7th Singapore-Australia Leaders’ Meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra on Tuesday.

PM Lee arrived in Canberra on Monday afternoon on an Australian air force B737 at Defence Establishment Fairbairn, next to Canberra Airport. 

PM Lee and Mrs Lee were received by Australian Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman and Singapore Deputy High Commissioner to Australia Harold Lee.

This is PM Lee’s first trip to Australia since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong and government officials. 

MPs Foo Mee Har and Saktiandi Supaat are also part of the Singapore delegation. Both of them took part in the Sydney meetings.

Mr Saktiandi posted a photo of him with Mr and Mrs Lee at the Darling Harbour and Sydney Opera House on Facebook on Sunday.

“Looking forward to the delegation meetings tomorrow with Australian PM Albanese and his team. Looking forward to healthy, meaningful, longstanding relations with Australia ahead,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Ms Foo said there were “great interests and respect from the Australians on Singapore’s perspectives on key developments in the world”.

There were also opportunities for both countries to partner and collaborate, she said.

“I am most excited about the possibilities to work together on the green economy under the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement,” she added.

The agreement is described as a first-of-its-kind in the world combining trade, economic and environmental objectives, and is expected to be among the key issues at the upcoming annual leaders’ meeting. 

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