SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (Oct 18) congratulated his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern following her national election victory.












“Your win reflects the continued trust and confidence that New Zealanders have in your leadership, particularly your government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Lee wrote in a letter.












He also said that Singapore and New Zealand were “close friends and longstanding partners” who upgraded relations to an Enhanced Partnership (EP) during Ms Ardern’s official visit to Singapore in May 2019.












“The EP has taken on greater significance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with concrete cooperation in areas such as supply chain connectivity, vaccine multilateralism and the digital economy.”












Mr Lee added that he looked forward to working with Ms Ardern to advance both countries’ mutual interests, both bilaterally and at international fora.












He also pledged Singapore’s support during Ms Ardern’s chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) next year.












“I wish you continued success in your new term and look forward to meeting you again when circumstances permit,” said Mr Lee.

Ms Ardern on Saturday delivered the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century. Her new majority in parliament will allow her to form the first single-party government since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996.











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