Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the city and Hong Kong can work together and learn from each other.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam was in Singapore for a two-day visit on Wednesday and Thursday. It was her first foreign trip since she became Hong Kong leader in July.

When Lam was the development secretary between 2007 and 2012, she visited Singapore to attend international conferences almost every year.

Carrie Lam at the Singaporean Arts House. Photo: Facebook/Carrie Lam.

During the recent trip, Lam visited the Civil Service College, the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority and GovTech Hive – an innovation lab for digital services, among other institutions.

She also opened a exhibition featuring 1950s Hong Kong through the eyes of Singaporean photographer Lee Fook Chee.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Lam said: “My first trip to Singapore is about enhancing ties between the two places as well as renewing friendship.”

Lam said she met with female officials in the Singapore government at a dinner hosted by the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, whom she has known for many years.

“For a period, Grace and I were the only woman minister[s] in our respective governments!” she wrote.

Carrie Lam and Lee Hsien Loong. Photo: Kenji Soon/Facebook/Lee Hsien Loong.

Lam flew to Thailand on Thursday night to continue her Southeast Asian trip.

The Singaporean leader then posted on Facebook: “Singapore and Hong Kong are often compared with each other. We are both former British colonies, we are among the most open economies in the world, and we are both vibrant financial hubs… We share common challenges: land scarcity, cost of living, and an uncertain global outlook. Thus we can work together and learn from each other.”

“Glad that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam made Singapore her first overseas destination since becoming Chief Executive. We had a good discussion on SG-HK co-operation in trade and investment, and the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Lee also welcomed the recently concluded free trade agreement between ASEAN and Hong Kong, and looked forward to its early implementation.

“On a lighter note, Mrs Lam recently started her Facebook Page so we got the chance to swap Facebook tips!” he added.

In response, Lam shared the post on her page and said: “Delighted to meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong again in Singapore!”

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.