QBA, Singapore team explore investment avenues
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA THE Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) hosted a business dinner for the Singaporean delegation led by that country’s Deputy Prime Minister and coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean at Saffron in Katara, recently.
During the visit, the delegation signed several joint agreements in the field of information technology and telecommunications, environmental, cultural, and health sectors.
Members of the delegation included Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for information, communication and the arts and minister-in-charge of Muslim affairs; Teo Ser Luck, minister of state for trade and industry; Josephine Teo, minister of state for finance and transport; Tan Chuan- Jin, minister of state for national development and manpower; and Sam Tan, senior parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs and community development, youth and sports.
The QBA side was headed by board member Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal al Thani.
The function was attended by Sherida al Kaabi, board member, along with members Khaled al Mannai, Abdel Hameed Mustafawi, Maqbool Habib Khalfan and Ashraf Abu Issa.
Hean discussed Singaporean investment incentives that include the country’s significant geographic location, high market competitiveness, corruptionfree climate, as well as skilled labour, low tax rates, and advanced infrastructure, all of which attract foreign investors and rank Singapore as the second freest economy in the world. Furthermore, Singapore is also considered the 14th largest exporter and the 15th largest importer in the world.
Additionally, Hean also spoke about cooperation between Qatar and Singapore in the implementation of infrastructural projects, and the construction of the New Doha International Airport.
Hean also noted that it was possible for Qatari companies to benefit from their Singaporean counterparts’ experience to build stadiums, and establish cooling units for the World Cup 2022 facilities.
Sheikh al Thani spoke about the favourable investment climate and opportunities in Qatar which is ranked first among the Arab and the Middle East countries and 17th internationally, having the most competitive economy.
In addition, it has also the highest per capita GDP in the Arab world in 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Moreover, Sheikh al Thani also added that there were vast opportunities for cooperation, where Qatari companies can plan and implement development projects with their Singaporean counterparts, while organising and preparing for the 2022 World Cup.
At the end, Hean thanked the members of the association for the meeting, and invited them to visit Singapore and explore its rich trade and investment opportunities in various commercial and industrial sectors.
Trade relations between the two countries increased by 12 percent, reaching $6 billion in 2010, in comparison to $5.5 billion in 2009. Qatar is also considered the third largest trading partner of Singapore in the GCC, while Singapore imports and 7.7 percent of Qatar’s total exports, mainly crude oil and petrochemicals.