Toast Speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Official Lunch in honour of Mongolia PM Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai (July 2022)

SM Lee Hsien Loong | 8 July 2022

Toast Speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Official Lunch in honour of His Excellency Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai, Prime Minister of Mongolia on 8 July 2022.


Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

A very warm welcome to the Prime Minister and his delegation. This is the Prime Minister’s first visit to Singapore since he assumed office, but he has been here many times before this. I am very happy to receive him, and to be able to reciprocate the gracious hospitality which I received when I visited Ulaanbaatar in July 2016 for the ASEM Summit which Mongolia hosted.

I recall the grand welcome ceremony in front of the State Palace – and inspecting the honour guards, which included soldiers mounted on horses. I also have warm memories of the Naadam festivities,, including a spectacular display of the “three games of men” – wrestling, horse-riding and archery on the step outside of Ulaanbaatar. Incidentally, it will be the start of the Naadam Festival again in just a few days’ time on 11 July and I would like to convey my early best wishes to the Prime Minister and the people of Mongolia on a wonderful and joyous Naadam.

During my visit in 2016, I was also presented with a horse. I named it Bintang Temasek, which means in Malay, our national language, the Star of Temasek, and Temasek is the ancient name of Singapore. I hope Bintang Temasek has shone brightly in the wide open plains of Mongolia, as its name suggests.

This morning, we gifted the Prime Minister his very own orchid, now named after him. Like Bintang Temasek, this orchid is a beautiful symbol of the Singapore-Mongolia friendship. Long may it continue to bloom and flourish.

Singapore and Mongolia have a warm and longstanding relationship. Two years ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. We worked well together at regional and international fora. We share a common goal of promoting international trade, maintaining regional peace and stability, and upholding an open and inclusive rules-based multilateral system.

We also complement each other’s advantages. For example, while Mongolia has vast natural resources, Singapore has good connectivity and offers a hub and gateway for Mongolia’s exports into our region and beyond.

In times of need, our countries have supported each other. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in 2020, Temasek Foundation donated test kits to Mongolia. While the Mongolian government provided gift bags to Singapore’s frontline healthcare workers, which brought them much cheer and encouragement.

Our countries also recognise the value of developing our human resources. Through the Singapore Cooperation Programme or SCP, Singapore has welcomed more than 1,600 Mongolian officials to exchange views and discuss our experience in finance, economic development, language and communication skills, and public administration. We look forward to more Mongolian officials taking part in the programme in future.

We have a sound foundation on which to grow our relations. I am confident that our countries will continue to strengthen our collaboration as we move forward in a post-COVID-19 world.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, may I now invite you to join me in a toast to the good health and success of Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene and his delegation. The continued peace and prosperity of Mongolia; and the enduring friendship between Singapore and Mongolia.

Thank you.

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Foreign affairs