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Singapore president makes first state visit to PH Wednesday

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 12:08 AM April 02, 2014

Singapore’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam will arrive in Manila on Wednesday (Apr. 2) for a four-day visit to discuss trade and defense ties with the Philippines and provide further assistance to survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Eastern Visayas.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Tuesday, Tan will begin his first state visit to the Philippines, accompanied by his wife Mary and top Singaporean officials, including Grace Fu, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs; Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower; and Members of Parliament Lam Pin Min and Vikram Nair.

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Tan will be in the Philippines until Saturday in a reciprocal visit to Mr. Aquino’s state visit to Singapore in March 2011.

“President Tan will meet with President Aquino to discuss matters of mutual concern, including cooperative activities in defense, trade and investment, and the Filipino community in Singapore, among others. He will also meet with the Philippine-Singapore Business Council,” said the DFA.

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He will also turn over donations from the people of Singapore to the Singapore Red Cross in Manila. Tan will then fly to Basey, Samar, to personally hand over medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital, a facility jointly being rehabilitated by the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Singapore is the Philippines’ 4th top trading partner, with some $8.22 billion in bilateral trade in 2013, the DFA said. It was also the sixth top source of visitors to the Philippines in 2013, with more than 175,000 in arrivals.

The city-state is, meanwhile, host to Filipino community of some 180,000.

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