Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli is currently visiting Medan, North Sumatra. SMS Masagos attended the Singapore National Day Reception in Medan as Guest-of-Honour.
While in Medan, SMS Masagos met with the Acting Governor of North Sumatra Gatot Pujo Nugroho, the Mayor of Medan Rahudman Harahap, and local business personalities. They had a good exchange of views, including how Singapore and North Sumatra can further strengthen cooperation.
REMARKS BY SENIOR MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND HOME AFFAIRS MASAGOS ZULKIFLI AT THE SINGAPORE CONSULATE IN MEDAN’S NATIONAL DAY RECEPTION, TUESDAY, 7 AUGUST 2012
Yang Terhormat Bapak Gatot Pujo Nugroho, Acting Governor of North Sumatra,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy to be here this evening to celebrate Singapore’s 47th National Day with you. I am honoured by the warm hospitality that the people of Medan have shown me during my visit.
Tonight's celebration holds special significance. It is the first National Day reception organised by our newly re-opened Consulate, which will commence operations on 8 August 2012. The re-opening marks a new chapter in Singapore's engagement with North Sumatra, and our host city, Medan. It reflects our commitment to strengthening ties at all levels with North Sumatra.
Since our Consul and his team arrived here in Medan last month, they have been hard at work establishing the Consulate. I would like to thank Acting North Sumatra Governor Bapak Gatot, and all our friends in Medan who have given us their strong support. Our appreciation also goes out to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry. I hope you will continue to extend your support to our Consulate.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Singapore and Indonesia are close neighbours. Since we established diplomatic ties in 1966, we have cooperated well in many areas. Our leaders have a close working relationship, and when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met in Bogor for a Leaders' Retreat in March 2012, they re-affirmed their commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation, including in areas such as trade and investment and agri-business. Singapore has been the top investor in Indonesia for the last three years. We are also each other's top visitor destinations. Strong people-to-people links have helped to anchor relations between our two countries.
Singapore and North Sumatra share a special relationship. I met with Bapak Governor Gatot earlier today. We had a good discussion on how to strengthen this relationship. Singapore businesses have long-standing trade and investment links with North Sumatra. I was glad to learn that more than 80 Singapore companies are represented in your province, including in sectors such as healthcare, property development, retail, food and beverage, and commodities. I am also pleased to note that Singapore brands are gaining popularity here. With the re-opening of our Consulate, there will be more opportunities to expand our economic cooperation between Singapore and North Sumatra.
Allow me to express my hopes for closer Singapore-North Sumatra relations with a pantun:
Naik perahu menuju Parapat
Elok nian di Danau Toba
Sumatera Singapura terus bersahabat
Kekal hubungan sepanjang masa
[Travelling by boat to Prapat
Lake Toba is so beautiful
Sumatra-Singapore will always be friendly
The relationship will be eternal]
August is a special month for both Singapore and Indonesia. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people and government of Indonesia in advance on your 67th Independence Day on 17 August 2012. To our Muslim friends, let me convey my greetings of Ramadhan Mubarak to you and your families in advance for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. And to all Singaporeans – a very happy 47th National Day!
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
7 AUGUST 2012