PM Lee congratulates Britain's new Prime Minister Liz Truss

Britain's new PM Liz Truss won the ruling Conservative Party’s leadership race on Monday. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written a congratulatory letter to Britain's new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

In his letter to Ms Truss on Tuesday, PM Lee said her premiership comes at a time of significant challenges, but also opportunities in an uncertain global environment.

He noted that the fundamentals of Singapore and the United Kingdom's bilateral relationship remain strong, and that the two countries cooperate robustly across many sectors, such as trade and investment, security and defence, and in research and innovation.

Both Singapore and the UK are staunch supporters of a rules-based multilateral order, and the need to uphold international law, said PM Lee.

"I am confident that we will maintain the strong momentum in our bilateral relations," he said.

Recounting the United Kingdom-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (UKSFTA) that Ms Truss signed here in December 2020, PM Lee reaffirmed Singapore's commitment to the mutually beneficial economic partnership.

Then UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Ms Truss had inked the agreement together with Mr Chan Chun Sing, who was then Minister for Trade and Industry.

The UKSFTA was the first FTA between the UK and an Asean member state, and ensured that 84 per cent of Singapore's exports to Britain continued to be duty-free when the agreement came into force in January last year. By Nov 21, 2024, tariffs on virtually all remaining products will be eliminated.

PM Lee also noted that Singapore and the UK's cooperation has expanded to new and emerging areas such as cyber security and the digital economy, while officials from both sides have begun work on a framework for green economy cooperation.

In June, the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement took effect, setting out rules such as on e-payments and cross-border data flows.

PM Lee called the agreement a milestone for both countries that unlocks new growth prospects for businesses.

"I look forward to continue working with you to strengthen our partnership for the future," he wrote.

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