Qatari PM signs 5 MOUs during visit to Singapore

MCI Photo 03 Large
Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

Qatar’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, embarked on an official three-day visit to Singapore starting from Wednesday. This visit came at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Notably, it marked Sheikh Mohammed’s first visit to Singapore as Prime Minister, as confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Singapore and Qatar are simplifying access for technology start-ups from both nations to each other’s markets and are fostering collaborations in sectors including transportation, logistics, energy, manufacturing, and digitalization.

Qatar already ranks as Singapore’s sixth-largest trading partner, with significant investments in sectors such as finance, insurance, and real estate. As the two countries further their strategic partnership to new fields of expertise, trade volumes are expected to increase.

During the official visit of Qatar’s Prime Minister, Singapore and Qatar solidified their bilateral cooperation through the signing of five new Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on Thursday. Among the five agreements, one involved Enterprise Singapore and the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar, under which both organisations will promote commercial collaboration and pinpoint potential opportunities for businesses and start-up ventures in Singapore and Qatar. This partnership will focus primarily on the development of smart cities, advancements in transportation and logistics, energy-related initiatives, manufacturing projects, and digitalization efforts.

Enterprise Singapore entered into another agreement with the Qatar Development Bank which aims to simplify market entry for businesses and start-up enterprises into each other’s markets. The primary focus of this agreement is centred on digital technology, fintech, and fostering innovation.

Sheikh Mohammed, who also holds the position of Qatar’s Foreign Minister, also paid a visit to the President of Singapore, HE Halimah Yacob. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) noted that President Halimah and Sheikh Mohammed affirmed the long-lasting relationship between Qatar and Singapore and explored ways to strengthen and advance this strategic cooperation across a range of sectors. The MFA further mentioned that “President Halimah appreciated the advancements in bilateral cooperation, particularly in fields like food security and innovation, which had developed following her state visit to Qatar in June 2023.”

Friday Sheikh Mohammed co-chaired the 8th Qatar-Singapore High-Level Joint Committee (HLJC) meeting. The HLJC, established in 2006, serves as the primary platform for shaping the strategic direction of Qatar-Singapore relations.

Sheikh Mohammed also delivered the inaugural International Institute for Strategic Studies Raffles Lecture, focusing on the theme “Small States: Strategies for Success in a Competitive World.”

Accompanying the Qatari leader were key officials including Finance Minister Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Commerce and Industry Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Education and Higher Education Minister Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Social Development and Family Minister Mariam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad, along with other senior dignitaries.

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