Singapore prexy arrives for state visit

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    THE Philippines and Singapore are expected to discuss ways to strengthen and reaffirm their bilateral ties when President Duterte meets with visiting Singaporean President Halimah Yacob today in Malacanang.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and concurrent presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, in a radio interview yesterday, said improving bilateral trade and strengthening cultural and people to people exchanges between the two countries are expected to be discussed when the two leaders meet.

    Yacob arrived yesterday afternoon for a four-day state visit on the invitation of Duterte.

    The visit highlights the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore.

    Yacob, the first female president of Singapore, will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Park in Manila before proceeding to Malacanang for a bilateral meeting with Duterte and a state dinner in her honor.

    While in the country, Yacob will attend the opening of the Singapore Festival or Singaporium, take a tour of the Philippine Eagle Foundation office, have a business luncheon with the Philippines-Singapore Business Council and a dialogue with the Mindanao Youth.

    Singapore is the Philippines’ fifth largest export market worldwide, and the second biggest international investor. It is also host to about 200,000 Filipinos who work and live in Singapore.

    Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore were established in May 1969.