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SM Tharman: More can be done together

SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam with HRH Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

SENIOR Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited Saudi Arabia in January 2019 to discuss bilateral ties with HRH Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. He made another trip in July where he met Saudi ministers and had a dialogue with senior bankers and officials hosted by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

SM Tharman had spoken to Saudi Arabia Your Gateway to the Middle East magazine about bilateral ties, how Singapore can contribute to the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and the opportunities ahead. In SM Tharman's two visits to the Kingdom this year, he had built on the warm and longstanding relationship between both countries. He said: "We already have meaningful cooperation on several fronts, including education, urban planning, the Hajj pilgrimage, and security. Our economies complement each other very well. Singapore is a small nation, but our niche strengths are relevant to Saudi Arabia's ambitious plans to transform its economy. We also have a high degree of respect for each other.

" These features of our relationship set the basis for deeper ties in the years to come. Further, over 50 leading Saudi companies, including Saudi Aramco, SABIC and financial institutions, base their regional offices in Singapore. Many Singapore companies also operate in Saudi Arabia, including PSA International's collaboration with the Public Investment Fund on Saudi Global Ports in Dammam. However, there is much more we can do together." SM Tharman said Singapore was optimistic about moving to a higher level of cooperation and partnership, and looks forward to President Halimah Yacob's State Visit to Saudi Arabia.

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