Singapore eyes more business ties with US: Full text of PM Lee's letter to Donald Trump

Prime Minister Lee invites Trump to visit Singapore "at (his) earliest convenience".

PM Lee
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong talks with government officials during the Plenary session at the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur Reuters

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong invited Donald Trump to Singapore and said he looks forward to working with him to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries, in a letter that the leader wrote to congratulate him after his victory in the US presidential election.

Eulogising the long shared partnership between the two nations, PM Lee said that he is willing to work with Trump to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, in the letter the Singaporean leader talked about the trade between the two nations and how it has been increasing. He also said that the economic ties between the two countries have created 240,000 jobs for Americans and appreciates Trump's "extensive business experience" and says it will be beneficial for Asia's growth.

The prime minister also sought an opportunity to host the new US president "at (his) earliest convenience".

However, Trump's idea about Singapore and its people remains debatable. At a campaign rally in Florida, Trump said that countries like China, India and Singapore are stealing jobs from America.

"We are living through the greatest jobs theft in the history of the world. There's never been a country that's lost jobs like we do, so stupidly, so easy to solve," said Trump to his supports in Tampa, according to Press Trust of India.

"Goodrich Lighting Systems laid off 255 workers and moved their jobs to India. Baxter Health Care Corporation laid off 199 workers and moved their jobs to Singapore. Essilor Laboratories laid off 181 workers and moved their jobs, surprise, to Mexico. It's getting worse and worse and worse," he added.

Donald Trump, an American businessman, was elected President on November 8, 2016, defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, and is scheduled to take office January 20, 2017.

Below is PM Lee's letter to Donald Trump

Dear President-elect Trump,

Please accept my warmest congratulations on your election as the 45th President of the United States of America.

The American people have elected you at a time when the United States is facing many challenges. I offer my best wishes as you lead your country forward and build a better future for the American people.

Singapore and the United States share strategic interests and an excellent, longstanding partnership. We have long supported America's presence in the region, which has underwritten regional peace and stability for decades, and enabled the Asia-Pacific to grow and prosper.

Our two countries enjoy substantive and multifaceted cooperation across the economic, defence and security fields, underpinned by a Strategic Framework Agreement and an Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement. We are collaborating to tackle emerging threats in cyberspace and to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

On the economic front, the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement has doubled trade between our countries to reach US$64 billion over the last decade. The United States has consistently maintained a trade surplus, which now stands at almost US$20 billion. Investments by Singapore companies in the United States, combined with America's exports to Singapore, have created some 240,000 jobs for American workers. Your extensive business experience sets you in a unique position to tap into Asia's growth.

I look forward to working with you and your Administration to further enhance our bilateral partnership and strengthen the United States' engagement in the Asia-Pacific for years to come.

I wish you every success in your new appointment and hope to welcome you to Singapore at your earliest convenience.

credit: The Straits Times

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