Aquino arrives in Singapore
SINGAPORE—President Benigno Aquino III arrived here Tuesday for a two-day state visit highlighted by meetings with top Singaporean officials and business leaders and his participation in The Economist’s The World in 2015 Review.
Aquino and his delegation touched down at the Changi Airport at 11:28 a.m. aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 001, said Malacañang Palace aide who witnessed the arrival.
The government allocated P11.6 million for the President’s trip. His 54-member delegation includes Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Communication Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III and the country’s economic officials: Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
Hosts from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Singapore, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio Morales and other Philippine Embassy officials welcomed the Philippine delegation.
President Aquino began his visit with a courtesy call on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the main building of the Istana, the official residence of the Singaporean president.
He was later honored with a luncheon hosted by Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
On Tuesday night, Aquino is to be the keynote interview subject in The World in 2015 Review, an award-winning conference series of The Economist, a prestigious international business magazine.
In his departure statement in Manila, Aquino cited the importance of the event as a gathering of the who’s who of the world’s top business companies.
“Because we will be able to talk to them face to face, we could directly answer their questions about doing business in our country,” Aquino said before boarding the plane in Manila Tuesday morning.
“Instead of going through what is usually a long and costly process, we get the chance to mingle with the businessmen, spark their interest and speed up the possibility of them investing in our country,” he said.
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