Kazakhstan and Singapore reaffirm ties ahead of 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations

Minister Maliki Osman (left) called on Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana on Oct 12, 2022. PHOTO: THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

SINGAPORE - Kazakhstan and Singapore reaffirmed the warm and long-standing ties between both countries on Wednesday, ahead of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.

Singapore's Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Maliki Osman, who is on a working visit, called on Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and said the Republic looked forward to hosting him on a state visit at a mutually convenient time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

MFA said President Tokayev welcomed Singapore's participation as a guest at the 6th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, held in the Kazakhstan capital Astana on Wednesday and Thursday.

He also encouraged Singapore companies to explore opportunities in Kazakhstan, in particular in the transport and logistics sector.

Dr Maliki, who is also Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs, agreed that there was scope for stronger economic and people to-people ties which would be boosted by better connectivity, said MFA.

During his visit, Dr Maliki also met Kazakhstan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration Serik Zhumangarin.

MFA said the ministers discussed potential areas of cooperation such as supply chain connectivity and digitalisation.

They also welcomed the progress made on negotiations on the Services and Investment Agreement under the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union - Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Dr Maliki also met Minister of Science and Higher Education Nurbek Sayasat, and had a good exchange of views on the challenges of education amid rapid changes in skills and technology, said MFA.

The ministry added that Dr Maliki welcomed Kazakhstan's interest to learn from Singapore's experience in the area of skills training and lifelong learning.

During his visit, Dr Maliki was also hosted to dinner by governor of the Astana International Financial Centre, Dr Kairat Kelimbetov, and discussed developments in the global economy.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Dr Maliki said he was part of a dialogue session with students from the Graduate School of Public Policy (GSPP) of Nazarbayev University, where the challenges of small states was discussed.

He noted the GSPP had a long-standing partnership with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and several students who participated in the dialogue had visited Singapore.

"I am encouraged by the vigour of the GSPP students. I welcome more students of Singapore's institutes of higher learning to visit Kazakhstan for exchanges," he said.

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