President Halimah on four-day state visit to Indonesia

President Halimah Yacob's visit to Indonesia will be the first by a Singapore head of state to the country in about eight years. PHOTO: ST FILE

JAKARTA - President Halimah Yacob will arrive in Indonesia next Monday (Feb 3) for a four-day state visit, her first and the first by a Singapore head of state to the country in about eight years.

The President's visit will begin in Jakarta, the capital, where she will meet her Indonesian counterpart, President Joko Widodo, visit a humanitarian project started by the Singapore International Foundation and meet Indonesian religious and interfaith leaders as well as overseas Singaporeans.

Madam Halimah will also be going to Yogyakarta, a city about an hour's flight east from Jakarta that is known to be a centre of culture and heritage for Indonesia.

The visit is at the invitation of President Joko, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Saturday (Feb 1). The ministry added that it will reaffirm the "wide-ranging, substantive, and mutually beneficial relationship between Singapore and Indonesia".

President Halimah, who will be in Indonesia until next Thursday will receive a ceremonial welcome at the Istana in Bogor, and President Joko will host a state banquet for her at the palace.

She will also meet Vice-President Ma'ruf Amin, and view an Industry 4.0 training programme organised by the Singapore Polytechnic and the Indonesian Ministry of Industry.

She will lay a wreath at the Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery, as is customary for state visits to Indonesia.

On Thursday, she will go to Yogyakarta, where she will meet and be hosted to dinner by Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. She will also have a dialogue with students of Gadjah Mada University and visit BLOCK71 @ Yogyakarta, a start-up incubation community established by NUS Enterprise in partnership with the Salim Group.

Singapore and Indonesia share close trade and investment ties, with bilateral trade amounting to $65 billion in 2018, a 9.4 per cent increase from the year before. Singapore was also Indonesia's top investor for the last five years.

Madam Halimah will be accompanied by her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee.

Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Social and Family Development Sam Tan and MPs Jessica Tan, Saktiandi Supaat, and Ang Wei Neng will also be in her delegation.

A business delegation organised by the Singapore Business Federation and Enterprise Singapore will be in Indonesia in conjunction with the state visit.

Mr Eddie Teo, who chairs the Council of Presidential Advisers, will be Acting President while Madam Halimah is away.

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