Singapore signs investment treaties with Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast

SINGAPORE - Two African countries have signed investment treaties with Singapore to open up more bilateral business and investment opportunities.

Singapore's Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran signed the Burkina Faso-Singapore bilateral investment treaty with Burkina Faso's Minister for Industry, Commerce and Handicraft Arthur Kafando, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Wednesday.

Mr Iswaran also signed the Ivory Coast-Singapore bilateral investment treaty with Ivory Coat's Minister for Commerce, Craft and SME Promotion Jean Louis Billon.

Both signings took place at the 3rd Africa Singapore Business Forum 2014 held in Singapore on Wednesday.

The agreements aim to protect the interests of investors from the countries involved and to increase investment flows between Singapore and the two African countries, MTI said.

"The treaties will provide our companies operating in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast better protection and greater investment confidence, thus promoting investment flows between our countries," said Mr Iswaran.

He added that the agreements also highlight the scope for greater economic cooperation between Singapore and Africa.

"Singapore's ties with Africa are growing and we look forward to building stronger relations with the region," he said.

The treaty with Burkina Faso is hoped to lead to more opportunities for Singapore companies in sectors such as agriculture, MTI said. Singapore firms that currently have a presence in the African country include Olam International and Agritech.

Ivory Coast, on the other hand, is a potential hub for Singapore companies in West African countries, given its good infrastructure and natural resources, added MTI.

Singapore's bilateral trade with Burkina Faso rose 15 per cent between 2012 and last year to $2.54 million, while its bilateral trade with Ivory Coast stood at $36.1 million last year.