SINGAPORE, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is scheduled to start a trip to France and Poland on Sunday to strengthen bilateral ties with the two countries, the city-state's Prime Minister's Office said on Saturday.
The authorities said the visits are aimed at seeking the support of French and Polish leaders for the early ratification of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The negotiations of the FTA were concluded last December, and the treaty is expected to enter into force in 2015.
During his third official visit to France, Lee is scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and other French leaders. He will also attend a business forum, meet French businessmen and academics as well as Singaporeans living in the country.
Singapore and France elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership in last October when French PM visited the city state. France is the second country to establish strategic partnership with Singapore after the United States.
On Wednesday, Lee will fly to Warsaw for his first official visit to Poland. Lee is scheduled to meet Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and other leaders.
He will also visit the city of Gdansk, home to Poland's largest sea port.
Lee will be accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs Grace Fu.
He will also be accompanied by a delegation led by the Singapore Business Federation.