PM Lee holds separate bilateral meetings

PM Lee holds separate bilateral meetings

While much of the discussion among leaders attending the G-20 summit was done during formal working sessions, leaders also took the opportunity to have bilateral catch-ups on the sidelines.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong held separate meetings with his counterparts from Spain and Italy, during which he affirmed the strong ties Singapore has with their countries, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday.

During the meetings, he sought the support of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey for the completion of the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), which has to be ratified by the European Parliament.

The EUSFTA will provide substantial economic and trade benefits to all parties, the MFA statement noted.

The leaders also discussed the challenges facing the global economy and the steps that Italy and Spain were taking to recover from the euro zone financial crisis.

The two European leaders also sought Mr Lee's views on developments in Singapore, South-east Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

During the G-20 summit, PM Lee also had separate conversations with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, South Korean President Park Geun Hye, United States President Barack Obama, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde.

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