The State of Qatar and the Republic of Singapore have enjoyed strong bilateral relations over many years, developing from the establishment of diplomatic relations at the level of non-resident ambassador in 1984, till the opening of the embassy of Singapore in Doha in 2006 and the opening of the Qatari embassy in Singapore in 2007.
Qatar supported Singapore’s candidate for the membership of the IMO Council in the elections held in 1999 in London.
In 2006, the Qatar-Singapore High-Level Committee was established to enhance co-operation between the two countries.
Several bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed in various fields, including air transport, culture, training programmes, tourism and environment.
In 2009, His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani issued an Emiri decree ratifying the free trade agreement between the GCC countries and Singapore.
Currently, Qatar ranks third among Singapore’s largest trading partners among the GCC countries.
The developing relations between the two countries witness a regular exchange of high-level visits, including the visit of former President of Singapore Sellapan Ramanathan to Qatar in 2009, and the visits of His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Singapore in 2005 and 2009.
According to Singapore’s ambassador to Qatar Jai S Sohan, Qatar is the only country that has undertaken three state visit to Singapore, and is also only country in the Middle East which has high-level joint committee with Singapore.
Commenting on the occasion of the state visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Singapore, the ambassador said that the establishment of the high-level joint committee for co-operation between Qatar and Singapore reflects the two countries’ keenness on strengthening longstanding bilateral relation in all fields, adding that both countries will sign or announce several co-operation agreements during the visit, in addition to the formation of Singapore Business Council in Qatar.
In March, the Diplomatic Institute of Qatar’s Foreign Ministry organised a seminar on the relations between Qatar and Singapore.
Ambassador Sohan took part in the seminar and highlighted the excellent relations between Qatar and his country.
His Highness the Emir’s visit to Singapore will be an opportunity to learn about the experience of the country and how it became a model for its achievements in the socio-economic development, which made it earn a prestigious position in the region and the world at large.
Singapore’s economy represents the free market economy which is characterised by a high level of success and development.
The domestic market in Singapore is stable, and the per capita GDP of the country is classified as high, especially with the declining overall unemployment rate.
Singapore’s economy is dependent on domestic exports to other countries, namely electronic products, consumer goods, and diversified industries.
The trade sector is also one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, especially in the recent millennium.
The Singapore economy has been able to emerge from the global economic crisis with minimal losses, which promoted economic stability.
Qatar is looking forward to strengthening its relations with the Asean countries in general.
An Asean seminar will be organised to promote awareness among Qatari companies on the economic and investment potentials of Asean on November 20, 2017 in order to highlight how Qatar and Asean can intensify their trade relations for mutual benefit.
The seminar will coincide with the Asean Food Festival will be held during the same period.
The trade exchange between Qatar and the Asean countries reached $10bn by 2015.
This exchange will certainly increase, especially with the increasing interest of Qatari companies in markets and products in Asean countries, including Singapore, where trade volume with Qatar amounts to $20bn annually, mostly are imports of Qatari LNG.
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