[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, April 11, 2008

1. Not many Singaporeans are aware that the per capita income of the Czech Republic has overtaken that of Portugal and Greece in the European Union. After the end of the Cold War, the old Czechoslovakia was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was a happy divorce by mutual consent. Both countries are now the best of neighbours.

2. I was able to travel by highway from Vienna to Bratislava, and from Bratislava to Prague without the hassle of border controls. This is the beauty of the Schengen Treaty which removed internal border controls for the majority of countries in the EU. The EU is an inspiration to us in ASEAN.

3. Many people had told me of the charm of Prague. The capital of the Czech Republic is indeed of rare beauty, with old bridges, castles, churches, monuments and libraries going back to the medieval ages.

4. I called on the PM yesterday and met Foreign Minister Karel Shwarzenberg today. Our bilateral relationship is problem free but not substantial. Going forward, there are only opportunities for both sides. The Czech people have a rich heritage and a strong intellectual tradition. Once freed of Communism, they are again flourishing.

With Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek

With Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I envy your work as a Minister,
travel the world.What you had experienced may be brought up in the minister's meeting to further our country well being.

Best wishes & good health,

a retiree

Saturday, April 12, 2008 4:17:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really admire Singapore's foreign policy partly due to your tireless diplomatic efforts in engaging the international community.Singapore stands tall amidst the international stage due to our leaders' dedication and service in uplifting the Singapore brand.Keep it up!
Best Wishes

Sunday, April 13, 2008 11:55:00 pm


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