(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Singapore has paved the way for elevating bilateral relations to a higher level, with both sides agreeing on a number of steps to foster co-operation.
His Highness the Emir attended yesterday a dinner banquet hosted by Singapore President Halimah Yacob.
The president welcomed the Emir and expressed her delight at his visit. She highlighted the many shared factors between Singapore and Qatar starting with the developmental path and ending with the regional vital role both countries play, 'which shows that the two countries' success does not lie in their size.
President Halimah Yacob also praised the historic friendly relations between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1984, which was strengthened by forming the High-Level Joint Committee and the Emir's role in strengthening the partnership.
She referred to the level of co-ordination between Qatar and Singapore in international arenas, based on the two countries' active, responsible and constructive role in the international community.
She said the economies of Qatar and Singapore are business-friendly and they strongly encourage free trade, referring to the free trade agreement between Singapore and GCC countries, signed in Doha in 2008.
'The mutual agreement that concluded between both countries in the field of investment will provide many opportunities in trade sectors, as well as to the Singapore Business Council previously held in Doha which will deepen the trade and economic relations between both countries.
On Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup, the Singapore president said she was looking forward to this sporting event in Doha, saying that it would be a historic event and will be held for the first time in the Middle East. She expressed her confidence that Qatar's hosting of the World Cup would be a resounding success.
His Highness the Emir expressed his thanks to the Singapore president for supporting and consolidating the distinguished relations of friendship and co-operation between the two countries.
The Emir stressed the importance of the visit which witnessed the signing of more co-operation agreements to promote and develop these relations, pointing out in this regard that the Qatari-Singaporean Economic Forum (currently being held in Singapore) will provide more investment opportunities that serve the common interests.
He praised the spirit of friendship and understanding that prevailed in the talks with President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong which dealt with many issues of common concern and means of boosting close co-operation in various fields, especially in economy and investment, noting that this growing co-operation was a matter of satisfaction.
The reception was attended by a number of Singaporean ministers, senior officials and businessmen.
From Qatar's side, it was attended by businessmen participating in the economic forum.
His Highness the Emir and the Singaporean prime minister held a session of official talks at the Istana Presidential Palace.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister welcomed the Emir and the accompanying delegation, stressing the depth of the relations between the two countries and his country's keenness to strengthen and develop them in various fields.