New Zealand PM on official visit to Singapore from Sunday; big aims in improving trade and economics between both countries


PM Lee Hsien Loong (right) and New Zealand PM Christopher Luxon meeting on the sidelines of the Asean-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne on March 5. - ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is in Singapore on an official visit from Sunday (April 14) to Tuesday (April 16.

In his first trip to Singapore as prime minister since taking office in November 2023, Luxon will receive an official welcome at the Istana on April 15 and have a new orchid hybrid named in his honour.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on April 14 that Luxon will call on President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and meet his counterpart, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who will host him to lunch.

Luxon will also meet Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on his trip.

He will be travelling with New Zealand Minister for Climate Change and Revenue Simon Watts and other senior officials.

“Prime Minister Luxon’s visit reaffirms the excellent and longstanding relations between Singapore and New Zealand, underpinned by the Enhanced Partnership established in 2019,” said MFA.

The partnership, which marks its fifth anniversary in 2024, is meant to pave the way for the countries to intensify collaboration in trade and economics; defence and security; science, technology and innovation; climate change and sustainability; and boost people-to-people links.

Under the partnership, the education ministries of both sides, for example, have been exchanging information on their respective systems, from pre-school learning to higher education.

Singapore and New Zealand nationals have also been able to use automated immigration clearance facilities when travelling to each other’s countries since Feb 12, 2019.

Mr Luxon’s visit to Singapore will be his second trip as prime minister after he visited Sydney in December 2023 to meet Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The last prime minister from New Zealand to visit Singapore was Jacinda Ardern in April 2022.

Ardern and PM Lee established the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership in May 2019 on another trip.

Singapore and New Zealand will celebrate their 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2025. - The Straits Times/ANN

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