8th August 2012: Foreign Ministers of the Melanesian Spearhead Group who are currently undergoing a high level study visit in Singapore have embraced this initiative and thanked the Government and People of Singapore for sharing their history of economic achievements.
Participants from Melanesia include Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Fiji, Hon. Alfred Carlot, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Vanuatu, Hon. Seth Gukuna, Supervising Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Solomon Islands and Commodore Peter Ilau, Ambassador of Papua New Guinea to Indonesia.
Also included in the high level delegation are staff of the MSG Secretariat - the Director of the Political Affairs Division, Ms Barbara Age and Ms Lora Lini representing the Office of the MSG Director General.
The High Level visit to Singapore has been organized by the Government of Singapore from 6 to 11 August and also include representatives from other Pacific Islands including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.
Minister Kubuabola of Fiji who is also the Chairman of the MSG Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (FMM), said that the high level visit is a first for the region and he and his colleagues from Melanesia have learnt a lot about Singapore’s achievements and how Singapore has developed into one of the most successful economies in the world.
The Study tour is an opportunity for the Ministers to obtain first- hand knowledge of some of the challenges Singapore went through in the early 50s and 60s and what inspired them – a nation with no natural resources to a country with some of the best infrastructure in the world and in 2011 had a GDP of US$260billion and a growth rate of 4.9%. Minister Kubuabola added that the MSG members who together possess almost 90% of the natural resources in the Pacific, can still learn a lot from Singapore.
Minister Kubuabola said during the tour, the Ministers had learned some valuable lessons on leadership which has transformed Singapore to what it is today. The commitment and hard work of its people has also contributed significantly to the success in Singapore - one of the most economically self sufficient nations in the world.
During the visit MSG Foreign Ministers, their officials and the MSG Secretariat met Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Tan and also visited the Singapore Civil Service College, the Ministry of Health, the Singapore Economic Development Board, and the Marina Barrage.
Later this week, the delegates will also meet with the Singapore Minister for Transport, Mr Lui Tuck Yew and also visit the Singapore Port Operations Control Centre, the Ministry for Education, the Marina Bay Sands, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Singapore Aviation Academy and the Singapore Air Traffic Control Centre.
Another key highlight for participants this week is to participate in Singapore’s National Day Parade to celebrate Singapore’s 47th Independence Anniversary on 9 August since Singapore became independent in 1965.
Authorized by FMM ChairMSG SecretariatSingapore8 August 2012
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji