Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong discussed global and regional challenges and opportunities, their countries’ responses to COVID-19 and the next steps to enhancing the bilateral relationship when they met in Singapore today.
Jacinda Ardern is visiting Singapore and Japan, accompanied by Minister for Trade and Economic Growth Damien O’Connor and a delegation of business leaders, as part of her first overseas trip since the start of the pandemic, to reconnect New Zealand to the world.
“After two tough years with our border closed to protect our people, it is now time to demonstrate that NZ is open for business, students and visitors,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“The pandemic, in particular, has highlighted both the importance and relevance of our long and enduring relationship with Singapore so this is a special place to start,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Prime Minister received a ceremonial welcome and called on Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob, ahead of her meeting with Prime Minister Lee.
Following their meeting, the Prime Ministers released a Joint Statement setting out their agreement to build on the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership by adding a new pillar focused on climate change and the green economy. The new fifth pillar on climate change and sustainability will see New Zealand and Singapore collaborating on a range of issues – low carbon technology to sustainable aviation. They also agreed to deeper cooperation to future-proof supply chains from disruption, an issue which has been highlighted due to global Covid disruptions.
“New Zealand companies already supply a range of solutions to support climate change management and the green economy. Delegate company Cogo, for example, is currently in discussions with several of Asia’s biggest banks around carbon footprint integration, and earlier this year announced a partnership with Singapore’s banking technology innovator Moneythor to provide their customers with climate conscious banking solutions,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Singapore is an important partner for New Zealand in the face of current and future global challenges, from threats to global peace and security to climate change.
“We share a commitment to maintaining an open and inclusive international rules-based order, and to working collectively towards peace and security in our region and globally.
“Not to mention the opportunities Singapore offers our businesses and exporters, as well as the welcome return of tourists to New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Joint Statement from the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and The Republic of Singapore can be found here.