Between Monday, 11 July, and Wednesday, 13 July, Singapore will host a state visit for a Swiss president for the first time. This is an expression of the close cooperation between the two countries and comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations in 2017. President Schneider-Ammann will be received by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and will hold official talks with Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang.
Singapore is Switzerland's most important trading partner within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). One of the aims of the trip is to discuss new avenues for cooperation in the fields of business and science. On Tuesday, 12 July, Mr Schneider-Ammann, who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will speak at the Switzerland-Singapore Business Forum, "SkillsFuture - Developing a future ready workforce".
Visits to Seoul and Ulaanbaatar
Direct relations with South Korea have intensified in all areas in recent years, increasing reciprocal visibility. There is, however, potential for increased exchanges, for example in the areas of education, research and innovation. During his official visit to Seoul from Wednesday to Thursday, Mr Schneider-Ammann will meet with President Park Geun-hye and open the 3rd Swiss-Korean Life Science Symposium.
The last stop on the president's trip to Asia will be the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, where the 11th ASEM Summit will be held on Friday, 15 July, and Saturday, 16 July. The summit is dedicated to celebrating ASEM's 20th anniversary and will emphasise the promising partnership between Asia and Europe and ties between the two continents.
Switzerland has been a member of this forum for dialogue since 2012. ASEM has 53 members and holds summits every two years, alternating between Europe and Asia. Bilateral discussions with heads of state and government are due to take place on the fringes of the ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar.
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