Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visits Singapore

SINGAPORE - Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who is in Singapore for a State Visit from January 23 to 25, was officially welcomed by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Tan at the Istana this morning.

Following the ceremony, Queen Beatrix met with President Tan and Mrs Tan. After the meeting, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on Queen Beatrix.

President Tan and PM Lee acknowledged the contributions of the Netherlands towards Singapore's development through the untiring efforts of Dr Albert Winsemius, and investments by Dutch companies such as Royal Dutch Shell.

The leaders reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations and noted the strong bilateral cooperation in areas such as defence, water management, and climate change.

They also discussed ways to expand collaboration between our two countries. The Netherlands assured Singapore of its strong support for the EU-Singapore FTA.

President Tan and Mrs Tan also hosted a State Banquet in honour of Queen Beatrix. On Singapore-Netherlands relations, President Tan said: "Singapore and the Netherlands share a special and longstanding friendship that goes back to the 19th century.

"Indeed, the Netherlands is not only one of Singapore's first friends, but also one of our most steadfast friends. Today, this friendship continues to endure and flourish, underpinned by our shared interests as small, outward-oriented and forward-looking countries."

Earlier today, Queen Beatrix attended a CEO Roundtable organised by the Dutch Embassy in Singapore, and a networking event for Singapore and Dutch Small and Medium Enterprises which was jointly organised by the Dutch Embassy and SPRING Singapore.

She also visited the Urban Redevelopment Authority City Gallery, where URA Chairman Mr Peter Ho briefed her on the development of Singapore's urban landscape over the years.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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