PM Lee: Singapore can be hub for New Zealand
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has made a pitch for the country to be a hub for New Zealand, to connect with Asia and the world.
Speaking to business leaders in Auckland, Mr Lee said as Asia moves forward, the world's centre of gravity will shift further east and affect the existing strategic balance of power.
Mr Lee said Singapore-New Zealand relations are close but more can be done.
He said both sides can, for example, promote international trade, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for an eventual Asia Pacific Free Trade Agreement.
Mr Lee also said that moving forward, Singapore hopes to raise this economic cooperation to more innovative and creative industries.
During the Q&A session that followed, Mr Lee was also asked about Singapore's immigration, economic and education policies.
On immigration, Mr Lee said Singapore believes it can benefit from a controlled inflow of migrants - that is at a pace that's sustainable, while keeping the soul of Singapore society.
On the global financial market, Mr Lee said mishaps are unavoidable in a diversified and integrated economy.
He pointed to how Singapore rode through the 08-09 recession with enough reserves to help companies keep jobs.
Earlier, at a tea reception with about 100 Singaporeans living in Auckland, Mr Lee urged overseas Singaporeans to also participate in the national conversation about Singapore's future.
He said their ideas should contribute to the process and outcome of the conversation, so that all Singaporeans can move as one, towards a shared future.
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