President Ramaphosa to host Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on an Official Visit

Media Statement


12 May 2023


President Ramaphosa to host Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on an Official Visit


President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Tuesday, 16 May 2023, host Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Republic of Singapore for an Official Visit in Cape Town.


The visit will be an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen their longstanding partnership and explore new areas of bilateral economic cooperation.


South Africa’s economic relations with Singapore are focused on trade, investment, tourism promotion and skills transfer.


The Official Visit ceremony and proceedings will take place at Tuynhuys, Cape Town, on Tuesday, 16 May 2023.


Singapore’s visit to South Africa continues the High-Level engagement the two governments have fostered since diplomatic relations begun in 1993, ahead of South Africa’s democratic transition.


Since then, the two countries have shared excellent bilateral relations, which have formed the basis of regular high-level visits.


This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Singapore as partners who work together closely in multinational fora.


Singapore, like South Africa, is a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the Commonwealth, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).


The two countries have signed numerous agreements to enhance cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, education, and defence.


Tuesday’s High-Level visit has been preceded by an Official Visit undertaken by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, to Singapore in July 2022 to strengthen bilateral relations.


President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Hsien Loong will hold official talks on cooperation in the areas of communications and digital technology, science and innovation, water and sanitation and skills development.


The leaders discussed the potential for closer collaboration in these areas when they met on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit held in Bali last year.


Cooperation is expected to deliver mutual benefits in terms of economic growth, job creation, and innovation.


Singapore is a significant investor in South Africa, with investments totalling over R 5 billion in sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, and real estate.


The Official Visit will also bring leading business leaders from the respective countries to collaborate in sectors ranging from ports, logistics and supply chain, healthcare and biomedical, food manufacturing and engineering.


One of the key areas of collaboration between South Africa and Singapore is trade. Singapore is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners in Southeast Asia, with trade between the two countries totalling approximately R28 billion in 2022. South Africa exports a range of products to Singapore, including gold, diamonds, and wine, while Singapore exports electronics, chemicals, and machinery to South Africa.


Details of the Official Visit by the Republic of Singapore are as follows:


Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2023


Media Programme


Welcome Ceremony of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong


Time: 10h00 (Media to arrive at 08:00)

Venue: Tuynhuys, Cape Town


Opening Remarks of the Official Talks by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong


Time: 11h00

Venue: Tuynhuys, Cape Town


Media Briefing and Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation


Time: 12h30

Venue: Tuynhuys Media Centre, Cape Town


South Africa – Singapore Business Roundtable


Time: 15h30

Venue: To be announced


Media wishing to cover the Official Visit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore are encouraged to fill in the attached Accreditation Form and submit it to Khutjo Sebata on / 079 898 4621 by 16h00 on Friday, 12 May 2023. Access to Tuynhuys will be subject to proof of identification.


Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Ramaphosa – 082 835 6315

Issued by: The Presidency

Cape Town


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