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Qatar and Singapore reaffirm ties; boost industry, business cooperation

SINGAPORE and Qatar have signed several agreements to deepen cooperation in areas including information communication, technology, security, business and legal.

The agreements were part of Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani's two-day state visit to Singapore on Monday and Tuesday.

On Tuesday, three agreements and four Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) in various areas of cooperation were signed.

Among the key agreements was a Bilateral Investment Treaty, aimed at opening up opportunities and boosting trade and investment by providing businesses with better protection.

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The two sides also incorporated the Implementation Monitoring Mechanism under the bilateral High Level Joint Committee framework to ensure regular follow-up and optimal implementation of initiatives. The foreign affairs ministers of each country are jointly chairing the five technical committees under the mechanism: information communication technology, security, business, legal and sustainability. The first joint meeting for the mechanism will take place in Doha in 2018.

The MOUs were business-to-business agreements to strengthen cooperation in the areas of human resources development, food resource, building material, and increasing trade and investment facilitation.

One such MOU was signed between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Singapore Business Federation to enhance trade and investment between the business communities of both sides through the facilitation of direct exchange of information, business delegations, and the promotion of business opportunities.

Sheikh Tamim also met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. They discussed Qatar-Singapore bilateral relations and a range of regional and international issues.

The Emir of the State of Qatar received an official welcome at the Istana on Tuesday, where he met Singapore President Halimah Yacob, and they reaffirmed the strong ties between Qatar and Singapore.

Qatar, the world's largest gas exporter, has been diversifying its growth model away from the energy sector and is expanding potential sectors such as education, healthcare and tourism.