New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived in Singapore on May 17, 2019 for an official visit.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern to visit S’pore on Friday, May 17, 2019

Even though she was more than 8,500km from her country, she still showed New Zealanders that her heart was with them through a small but significant gesture.

Wear pink to stand against bullying

May 17 is Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand, a campaign that rallies people to stop bullying and spread kindness.

Ardern showed up in Singapore wearing a pink blazer in support of this national anti-bullying campaign, and posted a selfie on Instagram.

Ardern also mentioned meeting President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in her post.

The post said:

“Couldn’t quite get away with a pink t-shirt today (just landed in Singapore for meetings with the President and Prime Minister) so the old pink jacket of solidarity will hopefully do instead! No matter where you are (or if you’re in a pink t-shirt or not) we all have a role to play in ending bullying….and spreading just a little bit more kindness.#pinkshirtdaynz

Aww.

Upgraded Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

Her pink jacket might have also come in handy at a time like this where countries are roughing each other up.

In light of the trade tensions between the United States and China, bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), such as the one between Singapore and New Zealand, are becoming more important.

PM Lee said at a joint conference with Ardern at Istana on May 17:

“Trade frictions between the major powers will be significant for (Singapore and New Zealand) because we are small and open, and we are heavily dependent on natural trade, and we both rely on free trade as well as a rules-based international order.”

Five agreements were signed at the Istana.

This included an upgrade from the current FTA, known as the Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP).

The ANZSCEP, signed in 2000, was Singapore’s first bilateral free trade agreement, and New Zealand’s second.

Enhanced Partnership

The two leaders also elevated relations between both countries to an Enhanced Partnership.

This demonstrates the willingness to boost economic cooperation between the two countries in various fields such as trade and economics, the arts, cybersecurity and science, technology and innovations.

You can read the full speech made by PM Lee at the conference here.

View this post on Instagram

Pleased to host New Zealand PM @jacindaardern on her first official visit to Singapore today. We signed the Joint Declaration to establish the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership (EP). This comprehensive and ambitious agreement will benefit our institutions, businesses and people. A key element is an upgrade to our FTA with NZ, the Upgrade of the Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP). Also had a good discussion with PM Ardern on regional issues, of which there are many. We are natural partners – both small countries, sharing similar perspectives, e.g. the importance of the multilateral trade system and a rules-based international order. We do a lot together, including in research, defence and security, and tourism. Am confident that our relations will continue to strengthen for many years to come! – LHL 🇸🇬 🇳🇿 ([1,2] MCI Photo by Kenji Soon, [3,4] MCI Photo by Fyrol)

A post shared by Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) on

Here’s the text in the post:

Pleased to host New Zealand PM @jacindaardernon her first official visit to Singapore today.
We signed the Joint Declaration to establish the Singapore-New Zealand Enhanced Partnership (EP). This comprehensive and ambitious agreement will benefit our institutions, businesses and people.

A key element is an upgrade to our FTA with NZ, the Upgrade of the Agreement between New Zealand and Singapore on a Closer Economic Partnership (ANZSCEP).

Also had a good discussion with PM Ardern on regional issues, of which there are many. We are natural partners – both small countries, sharing similar perspectives, e.g. the importance of the multilateral trade system and a rules-based international order.

We do a lot together, including in research, defence and security, and tourism. Am confident that our relations will continue to strengthen for many years to come! – LHL 🇸🇬 🇳🇿

([1,2] MCI Photo by Kenji Soon, [3,4] MCI Photo by Fyrol)

Top photo collage from PM Lee’s and PM Ardern’s Instagram posts





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