Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Internet giant Yahoo for a personal look at the company's new technology and the economic opportunities they offer, an AFP report said.
'We just want to learn about the prosperous growth of the US economy and the non-stop innovation in this great country,' Lee was quoted by the AFP report, after getting private demonstrations of a trio of new Yahoo products.
'We are a small country so we want to learn what is happening in the outside world so that we can contribute.'
The AFP report added that Lee spent an hour in a closed-door meeting with Yahoo executives including co-founder Jerry Yang and chief executive Terry Semel.
Lee and Yahoo executives discussed increasing the Internet giant's investment in Singapore and having it use the country as a 'hub' for doing business throughout the region, the AFP report said
Yahoo has had operations in Singapore for a decade and has been in discussions with its government 'for a long time,' officials said.
The country is strategically located in a part of the world with the potential for a billion people in developing countries to become Internet users in the coming years, the AFP report said.
Yahoo said its concerns about freedom of speech and keeping Internet use free of controls have been allayed by the 'pro-active rapport' of the Singapore government.
The Sunnyvale, California-based firm was the only Internet search engine visited by Lee, whose day included a tour of Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas's new Letterman Digital Arts Center campus in San Francisco, the report said.Yahoo leaders gave Lee a Nokia mobile telephone with the Internet company's new oneSearch mobile online search software, the report further said.