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Singaporean PM jets in ahead of small advanced economies summit

Friday 5th October 2012

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The depth of bi-lateral ties between New Zealand and Singapore will get emphasis next week with a state visit by the Singaporean Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

His second visit since taking office in 2004, it comes just weeks ahead of next month's meeting in Wellington to tap ideas from small, more economically successful nations.

The two are also founder members of the group of countries that first proposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. Singapore is New Zealand's 10th biggest export destination with $851 million in the year ended Aug. 31, and fifth-biggest source of imports with an annual $2.22 billion in the same period.

Prime Minister John Key last visited Singapore in April and also stressed "a long history of education and defence cooperation" in his statement announcing the visit, along with trade ties.

The three day visit, from this Sunday, "provides an ideal opportunity to reaffirm New Zealand's close and valued friendship with Singapore and we continue to strengthen our cooperation in a broad range of areas, including science and innovation, where strong collaborative relationships have been developed," said Key.

Senior leaders from the science and innovation sectors in Denmark, Finland, Israel, and Singapore will be in New Zealand next month as part of an initiative by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to develop a network of small advanced economies.

It is hoped the meeting may develop into a network of small advanced economies.

"It is intended that each country will contribute senior leaders in the area of science and innovation, as well as in foreign policy and trade policy," Joyce said at the time.

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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