As the Ceremonial Head of State, the President is the symbolic figure representing Singapore at ceremonies and internationally. Officiating at State Events & Conferment of National AwardsAs the highest office of the land, the Presidency is vested with several ceremonial functions. These functions include – Opening of Parliament: Each Parliament session is opened by the President. The President will deliver a Presidential address laying out the key challenges for each term of government.Swearing-in ceremonies of key appointment-holders: The President officiates at swearing-in ceremonies of key appointment-holders such as the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court.National Day Parade: The annual National Day Parade is officiated by the President.Conferment of awards: The President also confers awards, such as the National Day Awards, on the advice of the Cabinet. Mr Quentin Loh Sze-On was re-appointed as the judge of the High Court of Singapore in January 2018. Four Senior Judges of the Supreme Court of Singapore received their appointments in January 2018. Foreign RelationsPresentation of Credentials All foreign ambassadors-designate and high commissioners-designate will present their credentials to the President before assuming office in Singapore. Mr Mothusi Bruce Rabasha Palai, High Commissioner-designate, Republic of Botswana, presented his credentials to President Halimah Yacob in November 2017. Mdm Iris Manzanares Murillo, Ambassador-designate, Republic of Costa Rica, inspecting the Guard-of-Honour at The Istana. She presented her credentials to President Halimah Yacob in December 2017. The President also presents letters of credence to ambassadors-designate and high commissioners-designate of Singapore before they leave to assume office overseas. Mr Lim Sim Seng, Singapore’s High Commissioner-designate to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, received his letters of credence. State VisitsThe President promotes friendship and economic ties between Singapore and other countries by hosting visiting dignitaries and making State Visits overseas. President Halimah Yacob welcomed German President Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier on his first State Visit to Singapore in November 2017.President Halimah Yacob, accompanied by Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, had her first State Visit to Negara Brunei Darussalam.A meeting between countries at the Head of State level is the highest form of a diplomatic exchange. Such exchanges promote international and bilateral trade and investments as well as cooperation in areas such as defence, education, research and development, and arts and culture. They open doors to opportunities around the world for Singaporeans.