Carrie Lam

Carrie Lam to make Singapore her first official international trip as Hong Kong leader

Visit next month will mark first to Singapore by a chief executive in nine years

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 8:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 11:10pm

Hong Kong’s new top official is planning to make Singapore her first official international trip, the Post has learned.

It was understood that Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s planned visit to the Lion City, viewed by many as Hong Kong’s sharpest competitor in the region, would be aimed at enhancing mutual cooperation.

The itinerary is still being worked out. A spokesman for the Singapore consulate in Hong Kong was not immediately available for comment.

Singapore is falling behind Hong Kong, just do the math

The visit will mark the first official trip by a Hong Kong chief executive to Singapore in nine years.

A source said Lam’s trip was meant to show that relations between the two sides had returned to an even keel.

Last year, Hong Kong authorities seized and impounded nine Singaporean armoured vehicles when the cars were in transit back to Singapore by sea from Taiwan, where they had been used in military drills.

Customs officials had suspected a breach of local laws relating to strategic commodities. The cars were returned to Singapore in January, and the ship company and the ship caption were charged. The case is being heard in court.

Groundwork for Lam’s visit was laid in April by Singapore deputy prime minister Teo Chee Hean when he met the leader in waiting. The two exchanged views on developments in Singapore, Hong Kong and the region. Teo also extended an invitation to Lam to visit Singapore.

In his congratulatory message to her last week on her inauguration amid the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule, the deputy prime minister said the two cities enjoyed close and multifaceted cooperation.

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“Our two cities share many similarities and challenges, and have benefited from each other’s experiences over the years,” Teo said. “Singapore looks forward to greater collaboration and partnership with Hong Kong under your leadership.”

The last time a Hong Kong leader travelled to Singapore in an official capacity was in 2008. Then chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen paid a three-day visit during which he met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, senior minister Goh Chok Tong, and minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Lam visited Singapore in her capacity as chief secretary, the government’s No 2 official, in 2013, to see housing developments there. She also visited in 2015 to promote closer economic ties.