Qatar’s new economic legislations, such as permitting 100% foreign ownership of companies across all sectors, is viewed positively by the business community in Singapore, ambassador Jai Sohan Singh said.
Singapore’s top diplomat here noted that Singapore companies are drawn to a variety of sectors in Qatar, including the oil and gas, infrastructure services, and ICT, among other sectors.
“There has been a steady stream of Singapore business delegation trips to Qatar over the past few years to explore partnerships with Qatari companies across various sectors.
“We look forward to continue working with domestic stakeholders and the local business community to help Singapore companies make headway in exploring the Qatari market,” Singh told Arabic newspaper Al Rayyah.
Asked to provide an outlook for Qatar-Singapore relations and the potential development both countries’ economic ties, Singh said, “There is much potential for Singapore and Qatar to deepen our economic relations, and I hope to see more engagements between our companies across a variety of sectors.”
He stressed that there are opportunities to deepen collaboration between Qatar and Singapore’s oil and gas and petrochemical companies, especially in the area of marine and offshore engineering.
“Qatar’s oil and gas companies are also welcome to explore Singapore as a base to conduct LNG trading and break bulking. I also foresee more collaborations in mutual areas of interest, such as finance, innovation, and food security, where there are already existing partnerships,” he emphasised.
In 2019, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) signed an MoU with Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZA) to strengthen collaborations on intangible assets and intellectual property to support innovative businesses, Singh said.
In 2020, Bank of Singapore partnered with Doha Bank on wealth management solutions, said the ambassador, who added that he is looking forward to seeing more of such partnerships and collaborations between both countries going forward.
On Qatar's investment plans to diversify the economy and income sources, Singh said Qatar’s economic diversification towards more health and technology deals, especially during the past year, “is noteworthy and certainly something to watch.”
“Given the severe disruptions to global economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore remains keen to secure investments that would allow us to play a critical part of the global value chain across different industries. As such, Qatari investors are welcome to explore opportunities in Singapore,” he reiterated.
Singh stressed that there is also “strong commercial interest” among Singapore and Qatar companies, citing the signing of a 10-year sale and purchase agreement between Singapore’s Pavilion Energy and Qatar Petroleum (QP).
“Under the agreement, QP committed to supply up to 1.8mn tonnes of LNG to Singapore per year from 2023 onwards. Parties also pledged to work on reducing carbon emissions associated with the LNG supply chain.
“Such partnerships are encouraging to hear of, and contribute towards building a good foundation for further collaborations between our business communities. With the global economy picking up pace, I am optimistic that Singapore’s trade and economic relations with Qatar will strengthen in the year ahead,” he said.