At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, accompanied by Mrs Lee, is on an Official Visit in Seoul from 22 to 24 November 2019, in conjunction with the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan from 25 to 26 November.
On 23 November, Prime Minister Lee had a bilateral meeting with President Moon at the Blue House. Both Leaders had a fruitful discussion on the progress of bilateral relations since President Moon’s State Visit to Singapore in July 2018, and looked forward to the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2020. They welcomed the expansion of the Singapore-ROK Air Services Agreement from 26 November 2019. The expanded Agreement will improve connectivity between Singapore and the ROK and enable more business and people-to-people exchanges. Both Leaders also discussed ways to strengthen economic ties, including through bringing the Korea-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed in 2005 up to date to promote bilateral trade and investment. President Moon conveyed the ROK's recognition of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an International Search Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for international patent applications, which Prime Minister Lee welcomed. Both Leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to achieve a swift entry-into-force of the updated Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation following its signing in May 2019.
Both Leaders looked forward to the ROK’s establishment of a Korea Start-up Centre in Singapore in 2020. It will serve as a landing pad for ROK Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to connect with Singapore’s start-up and innovation ecosystem, and enable Singapore SMEs to leverage the Centre to explore partnership opportunities with ROK companies. Both Leaders also welcomed the growing collaboration between both countries in other areas, such as smart cities, medical and biotechnology, smart grids, intellectual property, and cybersecurity. They reaffirmed the close bilateral cultural relations and welcomed the upcoming conclusion of an MOU between the National Arts Council and the Arts Council Korea to strengthen collaboration and exchanges across all art forms and genres, particularly in the area of arts and technology. Both Leaders also welcomed the further enhancement of security cooperation between both countries through the upcoming conclusion of an information exchange agreement in chemical biological defence.
Both Leaders also had a wide-ranging discussion on regional and international issues. Prime Minister Lee welcomed President Moon’s efforts to step up engagement with ASEAN under the New Southern Policy, which is highly compatible with ASEAN’s desire to deepen and enhance its Strategic Partnership with the ROK. Prime Minister Lee also reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to work closely with the ROK and the rest of the international community to achieve a peaceful, stable and denuclearised Korean Peninsula. He also expressed his appreciation of the initiatives by the ROK government, including President Moon’s personal efforts to promote dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Following their meeting, both Leaders witnessed the signing and exchange of MOUs on (a) standards and conformance; (b) manufacturing of pharmaceuticals; (c) smart cities collaboration; and (d) cybersecurity cooperation. President Moon also hosted an official lunch for Prime Minister Lee.
Prime Minister Lee thanked President Moon for his warm hospitality, and looked forward to meeting President Moon at the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Busan.
Prime Minister Lee departs Seoul for Busan tomorrow.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
23 NOVEMBER 2019
Delegation Meeting between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in
Photo Credit: MCI
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in
Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Tan Wu Meng, signed the MOU for Cooperation in the Fields of Standardisation, Metrology, Conformity Assessment and Technical Regulations with Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sung Yun-mo