Singapore has welcomed Qatar’s plans to increase its investments in Asia, ambassador Jai Sohan Singh said and noted that the value of Qatari investments in Singapore in 2018 was more than $1.3bn in the financial, insurance, and real estate sectors.
Singh said Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has been active in Singapore’s commercial real estate and hospitality scene, having acquired Asia Square Tower 1 in Singapore’s Marina Bay business and financial district “for a record $2.45bn.”
The ambassador also pointed out that Qatar is Singapore’s second largest trading partner in goods across the entire Middle East and North Africa region.
“In 2019, Singapore’s volume of trade in goods with Qatar amounted to more than $6.5bn. Both the countries signed an agreement to supply up to 1.8mn tonnes of LNG to Singapore per year from 2023 onwards for 10 years,” Singh told Arabic newspaper Al Rayyah.
On Qatar’s approach towards Asia, the top diplomat said: “Qatar’s plans to increase its investments in Asia is welcomed by Singapore. Our pro-enterprise and business-friendly environment, as well as our strategic location in Southeast Asia, have continued to make us an attractive location for companies to set up and tap on opportunities across Asia.
“Notwithstanding the dismal global economic climate last year, Singapore’s commitment to remain open and connected to the world, as we managed the Covid-19 pandemic, had provided the confidence for investors to continue using as an investment destination. It is our hope that Singapore remains attractive to foreign investors, including Qatar, as global economic activity picks up this year.”
Citing incentives provided by the government to attract Qatari investments, Singh said Singapore is recognised for its conducive business environment, talent, connectedness, and “liveability,” and remains a trusted partner for many companies around the globe.
“On top of that, we continue to invest in developing a robust innovation ecosystem and maintaining a strong stance on intellectual property protection in order to attract companies to invest in Singapore,” he explained.
To develop high-value and substantive economic activities in Singapore, Singh said the country provides targeted support to encourage businesses to upgrade their capabilities and expand the scope of their business operations. This includes grants in training and upskilling to encourage manpower development, as well as in R&D to encourage innovation, he also said.
On the value of Qatari investments in Singapore, including the most prominent investments, and their importance to both countries, Singh said that aside from QIA’s active role in Singapore’s commercial real estate and hospitality scene, “prominent Qatari companies, such as Qatar Petroleum and Ooredoo have a presence in Singapore.”