Former US President Barack Obama catches up with PM Lee during his brief visit to Singapore

Photo: MCI/Terence Tan

Last night, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong caught up with former US President Barack Obama for the first time since they met at APEC 2016 at Lima, Peru, in November that year. In town for a short stopover to speak at a private lecture held by the Bank of Singapore (a subsidiary of OCBC Bank) at Shangri-La Hotel yesterday, the 44th US President apparently had “much to talk about” during his dinner with PM Lee.

This marks Obama’s first visit to our shores ever since he left the White House last January, and PM Lee revealed that he’s kept busy “working with his foundation and other charities”.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the 56-year-old spoke to about 1,000 invited guests and clients about the future of the global economy and Asia’s growing role in it. The Straits Times noted that he also touched on his life journey and issues important to him, such as climate change and his vision for the next generation.

The former US leader follows in the footsteps of other noteworthy personalities who have delivered speeches at previous Bank of Singapore events, including Nobel Prize recipients Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman.

Obama (and his foundation) also tweeted about his experience meeting young people in Singapore and across Southeast Asia committed to “building the world they want to see”.

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