The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop is visiting Singapore on Wednesday, said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) statement.
Ms Bishop attended breakfast hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam. During the meeting, the ministers reaffirmed the excellent ties between Singapore and Australia.
They also noted the progress made on the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) which will be concluded this year to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The CSP will also enhance bilateral relations and strengthen political, economic, defence, and people-to-people ties between both countries.
In addition, Ms Bishop and Mr Shanmugam presided over the official opening of the koala exhibit at the Singapore Zoo. At the event, Mr Shanmugam expressed Singapore's appreciation for Australia's six-month loan of four koala bears.
Ms Bishop also co-launched arts and culture engagement programme "50 Bridges" at the Australian High Commission with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information, Mr Lawrence Wong. The event celebrates SG50 and commemorates the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between Singapore and Australia in 2015.
At the Australian High Commission, Ms Bishop announced the establishment of a High-Level Women's Dialogue between Singapore and Australia. She will be the co-chair of the inaugural Dialogue, which is scheduled to take place in Australia by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Singapore co-chair will be Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Grace Fu.
Ms Fu said: "I am delighted to co-chair the High-Level Women's Dialogue with Minister Julie Bishop. The challenges Singapore and Australia face, as well as our solutions, may not be identical, but there is much we can learn from each other."
"The theme for the inaugural Dialogue, on the promotion of women's economic empowerment and leadership in business, is timely and appropriate. Like Australia, Singapore is committed to fostering women's leadership and empowerment. I thank Australia and Minister Bishop for offering to host the inaugural Dialogue, which I am looking forward to."