Qatar and Singapore step up cooperation in various sectors

The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, calls on President Halimah Yacob at the Istana on Oct 17, 2017 during a state visit. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation at a meeting on Tuesday (Oct 17). ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Qatar and Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 17) moved to step up cooperation on various fronts, signing a slew of agreements and announcing the setting up of five technical committees.

The agreements span the legal, business, education and training sectors, while the committees will be in the in the information communication technology, security, business, legal and sustainability fields.

A new Implementation Monitoring Mechanism (IMM), co-chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim al-Thani, will oversee the committees.

The IMM, which is set to have its first meeting in Doha next year, will establish a channel for Qatari and Singaporean ministries and agencies to work together more closely and effectively, the two countries said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The establishment of the IMM was announced during Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani's first state visit to Singapore.

At his meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, both leaders stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation, said the joint statement

The IMM will be incorporated under the framework of the Qatar-Singapore High-Level Joint Committee to "ensure regular follow-up and optimal implementation of initiatives".

Both leaders affirmed this joint committee as the key pillar of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Since its establishment in 2006, the committee has helped promote and deepen bilateral relations in many fields, with 28 agreements concluded.

Sheikh Tamim and PM Lee also discussed a range of regional and international issues.

They then witnessed the signing of the seven agreements at the Istana.

These included a bilateral investment treaty that aims to boost trade and investment by providing businesses better protection, as well as two pacts between the Supreme Court and the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre.

Another agreement will see the Civil Service College help with the training and development of Qatar Investment Authority employees.

Sheikh Tamim started his day with a ceremonial welcome at the Istana, before calling on President Halimah Yacob. During the meeting, they reaffirmed the excellent ties between Qatar and Singapore.

He will be back at the Istana in the evening for a state banquet in his honour by Madam Halimah. This is the first state visit Madam Halimah is hosting since her election last month.

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