SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be in China for a working visit from Sunday (Apr 8) to Thursday at the invitation of China’s Premier Li Keqiang. He will visit Beijing, Hainan and Shanghai.
During the visit to Beijing, Mr Lee will attend a dinner hosted by Premier Li. The two leaders will also co-witness the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) on bilateral cooperation.
The first will be on developing a framework for third-party market cooperation between Singapore and China. It will also help Singapore companies gain access to project leads arising from China’s Belt & Road Initiative.
As part of the MOU, an implementation working group involving China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Enterprise Singapore will be formed to identify sectors and markets of mutual interest. The group will organise regular business matching activities and forums to facilitate cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies.
The second MOU will be a renewal of an agreement on cooperation between China’s State Administration on Cultural Heritage and the National Heritage Board. It will allow for collaboration in more areas, such as exhibition exchange, the exchange of information about conservation, curatorial and conservation staff exchange, and retail opportunities.
In Hainan, Mr Lee will attend the Bo’ao Forum for Asia’s (BFA) annual conference for the first time. He will deliver a speech during the opening plenary, and meet with President Xi Jinping. President Xi will also host a lunch for all foreign leaders attending the BFA Annual Conference.
In Shanghai, Mr Lee will meet and be hosted to dinner by Li Qiang, chief of the Communist Party of China’s Shanghai branch. Mr Lee will also attend the DBS Asian Insights Conference as the guest-of-honour.
Mr Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, Minister for Education (Higher Education & Skills) and Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development Associate Professor Faishal Ibrahim.
During his absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be the acting Prime Minister.