SINGAPORE: Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli, said Singapore and Indonesia are close neighbours who have cooperated well in many areas.
He said their leaders have a close working relationship.
Mr Masagos said when Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, and Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, met in Bogor for a Leaders’ Retreat in March, they re—affirmed their commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade and investment and agri—business.
Mr Masagos pointed out that Singapore has been the top investor in Indonesia for the last three years.
They are also each other’s top visitor destinations.
Mr Masagos said strong people—to—people links have helped to anchor relations between the two countries.
Mr Masagos, who’s also Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs, said this in Medan on Tuesday during his two—day trip there on 7 and 8 August.
He attended the Singapore’s National Day Reception and met the Acting Governor of North Sumatra Gatot Pujo Nugroho and the Mayor of Medan Rahudman Haraha.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said they had a good exchange of views including how Singapore and North Sumatra can further strengthen cooperation.
The celebration was the first National Day reception organised by Singapore’s newly re—opened consulate, which starts operations on Wednesday.
Mr Masagos said the re—opening marks a new chapter in Singapore’s engagement with North Sumatra and Medan, and reflects its commitment to strengthen ties at all levels with North Sumatra.
He said Singapore and North Sumatra share a special relationship.
Singapore businesses have long—standing trade and investment links with North Sumatra, with more than 80 Singapore companies represented in sectors such as healthcare, property development, retail, food and beverage, and commodities.
Mr Masagos said he’s pleased to note that Singapore brands are gaining popularity there.
He added that with the re—opening of the Singapore consulate, there’ll be more opportunities to expand economic cooperation.
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