SINGAPORE - Shortly after touching down at Changi Airport in his Boeing presidential jet yesterday, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his delegation headed for Orchard Road.
Their stop: Kinokuniya bookstore in Ngee Ann City.
There, the outgoing President, who observers dubbed "the thinking general" for his scholarly, considered demeanour, bought books and surprised customers, who asked for photographs.
Dr Yudhoyono, who is on a state visit to Singapore at the invitation of President Tony Tan Keng Yam, was welcomed at Changi by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
He will receive the Order of Temasek (First Class) this evening for his contributions to the bilateral relationship during his 10 years in office.
This afternoon, Dr Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will also witness the signing of a treaty by both countries' foreign ministers on the delimitation of territorial boundaries in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore.
This trip, Dr Yudhoyono said in a press statement before leaving Jakarta, will be his last bilateral visit as President.
But he said he would convey to President-elect Joko Widodo, who will succeed him on Oct 20, a message to continue Indonesia's cooperation, partnership and friendship with other countries, including those closest to it such as Singapore.
He said Singapore has been a significant investor in Indonesia, and the volume of bilateral trade is significant as well.
"The rise of Indonesia's economy from year to year and its prospects that will improve in future, as well as Singapore's position as an economic centre, trade centre and services centre, if combined well, is certain to bring real benefits to both nations," he added.
Dr Yudhoyono is accompanied by his wife, Mrs Ani Bambang Yudhoyono. His entourage includes Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Economic Minister Chairul Tanjung, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat.
This article was first published on September 3, 2014.
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