Qatar, Singapore to keep increased level of relations

The implementation monitoring mechanism (IMM) of the Qatar-Singapore high-level joint committee (HLJC) held its first meeting in Doha yesterday.

The meeting was co-chaired by Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

They reaffirmed the outcome of the state visit of the His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to Singapore in October 2017, which saw the signing of seven agreements. They welcomed the increased level of bilateral co-operation in all sectors.

In a joint statement, the two sides recognised the importance of the joint committee, co-chaired by HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean. The joint committee serves as the overarching bilateral platform between the two countries.

The co-chairs noted with satisfaction the progress made in activating the IMM in the six months since its inception in Singapore in October 2017 under the joint committee umbrella. Both sides agreed that the action and implementation-oriented approach of the IMM would advance government-to-government, business-to-government, and business-to-business partnerships for mutual benefit.

Both co-chairs reviewed the work of the six technical working committees established under the IMM in the areas of information and communications technology, security, business, sustainability, legal, and social development. The co-chairs welcomed the exchange of points of contact of representatives from both sides to facilitate prompt follow-up on bilateral co-operation.

The co-chairs welcomed the completion of the necessary procedures to bring into force the agreement between Qatar and Singapore for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments (i.e. bilateral investment treaty), so as to strengthen economic and trade ties between Qatar and Singapore.

The two sides referred to the positive result of the senior officials’ meeting which was held in Doha on April 12 and resulted in agreement on the following topics:

* The visit of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) delegation to Doha to support the inaugural IMM and to further strengthen commercial collaboration.

* The Qatar Chamber and the Singapore Business Council agreed to convene a business-matching session between the small-and-medium enterprises from both markets in the last quarter of 2018.

* Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Development Bank and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) agreed to jointly explore entry for FinTech companies into each other’s markets.

* In the smart utilities sector, ESG also agreed to share Singapore’s experience in smart grid management and electricity demand response with the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation.

* Holding the ninth Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs-Qatar Ministry of Interior Joint Working Group meeting in Singapore later this year.

* Qatar’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Singapore’s Ministry of Law looked forward to holding their inaugural joint committee meeting to discuss legal co-operation and activities, as agreed under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for co-operation in the legal field between the governments of Qatar and Singapore.

* Singapore welcomed the completion of the procedures of Qatar for the MoU for co-operation between the Centre for Legal and Judicial Studies in the MoJ and the Singapore Academy of Law, and both sides looked forward to the prompt entry into force of the MoU and the conduct of workshops and training courses.

* The Qatar Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the Singapore Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources also agreed to hold the next joint forum in the second quarter of 2019 to explore a plan of action for bilateral co-operation.

* The Qatar Diplomatic Institute and the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy exchanged views on joint programmes, and Singapore agreed to host a study visit for officials from the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019.

* To develop and strengthen bilateral relations in all areas, both co-chairs agreed to continue co-operation through the work of the IMM Technical Working Committees, and looked forward to the eighth meeting of the HLJC in the Republic of Singapore. (QNA)

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes