Remarks by PM Lee Hsien Loong at Joint Press Conference with Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım

Remarks by PM Lee Hsien Loong at Joint Press Conference with Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım

PM Lee Hsien Loong | 21 August 2017 | Singapore

Remarks by PM Lee Hsien Loong at Joint Press Conference with Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım on 21 August 2017.

 

Good afternoon everybody.

I would like to welcome Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım back to Singapore. I am very happy to reciprocate the very generous hospitality which I received during my two visits to Turkey in 2014 and 2015, and very honoured to host Prime Minister Yıldırım’s first official visit to Singapore as Prime Minister.

I am also delighted that ASEAN has recently welcomed Turkey as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner. Singapore strongly supports this. It will enhance ASEAN’s cooperation with Turkey and Singapore, and it will, I hope encourage Turkey to engage actively with our region.

I have just had a fruitful discussion with the Prime Minister this morning. We reaffirmed the momentum in our bilateral relations and in fact we have made significant progress since we signed the Strategic Partnership in October 2014.

I am confident that the friendship between Singapore and Turkey will further strengthen and reach new heights.

PM Lee Hsien Loong

We have high-level engagements regularly, in the government and between our parliamentarians. Our relations have broadened to include defence, counter-terrorism, culture, technical training, as well as science and research cooperation. In 2015, we concluded the Turkey-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (TRSFTA).

I would like to thank the Prime Minister for bringing with him the good tidings that Turkey has ratified the TRSFTA. Now both sides have completed their processes, we look forward to the FTA coming into force soon.

Singapore and Turkey are gateways to our respective regions. We both benefit from open and free trade. Our bilateral trade has grown steadily, and has exceeded S$1 billion in the last decade. This FTA is another significant milestone in our relationship. It will send a strong signal to our business communities and strengthen our economic ties.

Therefore, the Prime Minister’s visit is timely. Today, we will be holding the 5th Turkey-Singapore Business Forum and I am very happy that the Prime Minister has brought with him a strong business delegation. We look forward to Turkish and Singapore companies linking up at the Forum to forge fruitful partnerships.

The Prime Minister and I also discussed how we can further enhance bilateral ties to promote business cooperation and investments. For example, financial and aviation cooperation, research exchanges and technical cooperation.

We exchanged views on developments in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and on issues of common concern, particularly the threat of terrorism. From the security point of view, 2016 has been a difficult year for Turkey, but Turkey and its people have demonstrated strength and resilience. I am confident that the friendship between Singapore and Turkey will further strengthen and reach new heights.

Thank you Prime Minister.