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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21592

Visit to World Economic Forum and Singapore

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 27/01/2005

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 21592

I will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from 28 to 30 January and make a bilateral visit to Singapore on 1 to 2 February.

My attendance at the World Economic Forum will be an opportunity to discuss with government and business leaders the outlook for the global economy and key challenges for our region. The meeting takes place at a time of strong global economic growth but not one without significant risks, including continued security concerns.

In discussions at the world leaders' dialogue on terrorism, I will reinforce the need for continued focus and sustained cooperation in the fight against terrorism. My discussions at Davos will also focus on key priorities for international development, particularly following the Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy and the government's announcement of the $1 billion Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development.

My visit presents a valuable opportunity for bilateral discussions on current security and trade priorities with a range of political and business leaders from around the world, including US Trade Representative and nominated Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick and US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Republic of Korea's Minister for Unification. While in Davos I will also meet the Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kamal Kharrazi, to again encourage Iran's full cooperation with the international community on nuclear issues and reinforce Australia's willingness to work constructively with Iran to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

On 1 February, I will visit Singapore to meet my counterpart, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other Singaporean leaders including Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore is a close and valued partner of Australia, with whom we share a wide range of long-standing political, defence, education, trade, tourism, aviation and Commonwealth links. I shall have the honour during my visit of conferring upon Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong an award of Honorary Companion in the Order of Australia for his services to the bilateral relationship.

Singapore has been actively engaged in the region's relief efforts in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami. I hope to discuss further with Singapore's leaders our ongoing response to this unprecedented disaster, as well as a range of other bilateral and regional issues. I will also use the opportunity of my visit to Singapore to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kranji War Cemetery, at which over 1,000 Australians are buried, and to speak at a luncheon hosted by AustCham, the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Transcript 21592