SINGAPORE: During a visit to Silicon Valley as part of a working visit to the United States, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (Feb 11) met up with Singaporeans working at Google.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Mr Lee said that he discussed with the Singaporeans at Google - many who are engineers - about how Singapore must make engineering more attractive as a career.
PM Lee Hsien Loong touring the Tesla Factory. (Photo: Kenji Soon / MCI)
During his trip to Silicon Valley, Mr Lee met with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and toured the Tesla Factory. "It is a huge space - 500,000 square metres, depending more on robots than workers," Mr Lee said, adding that he had the opportunity to ride in a Tesla Model S P90D.
Mr Lee also met with Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Mr Schmidt and Mr Pichai presented Mr Lee with a print of the winning doodle from the 2015 Singapore Doodle 4 Google competition, which was designed by 8-year-old Moh Journ Haydn.
PM Lee Hsien Loong in a Google self-driving car. (Photo: Kenji Soon / MCI)
"We talked about new technologies and global trends, and Singapore’s Smart Nation ideas," PM Lee said. He also went for a spin in Google's self-driving car. "It was a very smooth ride!" Mr Lee said.
On Thursday, Mr Lee also met California Governor Jerry Brown to reaffirm the strong economic ties between Singapore and California. He emphasised the importance of continued US engagement of Asia, and the swift ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"Ended the day meeting Ian Clark of Genentech, one of the earliest biotech companies. Genentech has a biologics plant in Tuas which they are very pleased with," Mr Lee said, adding that he was looking forward to meetings on Friday.
Mr Lee is visiting San Francisco from Feb 10 to 15 and Sunnylands, California to attend the Special ASEAN-US Leaders Summit from Feb 15 to 16.
PM LEE MEETS MARK ZUCKERBERG, TIM COOK
PM Lee also paid a visit to Facebook's office and met with its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg the following day. Mr Zuckerberg presented Mr Lee with a cube designed at Facebook etched with lines from a computer program Mr Lee wrote.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Mr Zuckerberg said it was an honour to host Mr Lee at Facebook's headquarters. "The Prime Minister is one of the only world leaders who knows how to code," he said. "Coding can be useful - no matter what your job is!"
During his visit, Mr Lee had the opportunity to try out Facebook's Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch controllers. "Amazing how immersive the virtual reality experience was," he wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday (Feb 13).
PM Lee also met with Tim Cook to see how Singapore could use Apple's technologies in its Smart Nation journey.
"Also had lunch with the CEOs of Paypal (Dan Schulman), Qualcomm (Steve Mollenkopf) and Applied Materials (Gary Dickerson), all of whom have major presence in Singapore. All in all, another good day," said PM Lee.