Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held talks with President Halimah Yacob of Singapore, who are in Kazakhstan on a state visit, DKNews.kz reports.
The talks were preceded by an official welcoming ceremony at the Akorda. The Head of the Guard of Honour gave a welcoming report to the Presidents. The national anthems of the two states were played followed by joint photo session. After that the leaders proceeded to the meeting venue.
Presidents thoroughly discussed the current development and prospects of the Kazakh-Singaporean relations focusing on strengthening the political dialogue, deepening trade and economic cooperation, and expanding cultural and humanitarian ties.
Welcoming Halimah Yacob, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev commended her strong leadership in navigating Singapore at such a challenging time.
"We feel proud that Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country ever visited by the Singaporean President. So, your visit to Kazakhstan is a historic event. I am confident that your visit will herald a new chapter in our mutually reinforcing cooperation. Kazakhstan is strongly committed to further strengthening ties and interaction with Singapore" Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
March 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Singapore. In this context, the President of Kazakhstan noted that over this period two countries have established a mutually trusted political dialogue and active parliamentary cooperation.
Trade, economic and investment cooperation plays a key role in Kazakh-Singaporean relations. President Tokayev underlined that today our country is home to over 140 Singaporean entities and joint ventures.
“As a result, overall Singaporean investments into the Kazakh economy have exceeded 1.4 billion dollars. Despite the economic and pandemic turmoil, last year our bilateral trade approached 2 billion dollars. I think it is a very good result” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
The President underscored that there have been established a robust institutional network for bilateral cooperation, driven by the Kazakh-Singapore Business Council.
“We will encourage our people to go to Singapore as tourists. And, of course, our gates will always be open for your tourists and businessmen from your country. So once again I would like to underscore that Kazakhstan is seriously committed to having close relations with your country” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
In turn, Halimah Yacob thanked Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the invitation and warm hospitality extended to her and the Singaporean delegation. She commended the level of political dialogue and mutually beneficial partnership between Kazakhstan and Singapore.
"You are quite right. This is the first ever visit of a Singaporean President to Kazakhstan, and in fact, to whole Central Asian area. So it is a significant visit. As you know, Kazakhstan is a very valuable partner for us in the Central Asia region. Because we can see you basically as the regional leader, and that's very important for us. We've kept very good relations over many years. We also have certain common beliefs and support an open rules and order, which is important for both Kazakhstan and for us as well" Halimah Yacob
Along with this, parties discussed the importance of strategic partnership between the Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Public Policy and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
The leaders of two countries exchanged opinions on expanding export capacity and opening joint ventures on the soil of our country. In particular, they talked about the status of implementation of a joint investment project on development of G4 City in Almaty region, and expansion of cooperation between financial institutions.
In addition, the presidents considered the prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation in the framework of bridging the Trans-Caspian international transport corridor and BRI, as well as launching direct air connections between two countries.
During the conversation, a number of topical issues on the international agenda were also discussed, including Kazakhstan and Singapore's interaction within international organizations.
At the end of the meeting, the Presidents have witnessed the signing of a number of documents, in particular:
- Agreement on Trade in Services and Investment between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Singapore;
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Republic of Singapore on Cooperation on Capacity Building Programme for Government Officials of the C5 countries;
- Cooperation Agreement between Astana International Financial Center and Enterprise Singapore;
- Memorandum of understanding between Joint-Stock Company «Сenter for Trade Policy Development «QazTrade» and Enterprise Singapore.