Dinner with Singaporean Delegation

14 Mar 2012 Dinner

QBA Members attended

In light of the official visit of His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, Mr. Teo Chee Hean, to the Qatari capital of Doha, and after the signing of several joint agreements including cooperation in the field of information technology and telecommunications, environmental, cultural, and health sectors etc. Qatari Businessmen Association held a business dinner with the Singaporean delegation at Saffron, Katara on Wednesday March 14th.

The Singaporean delegation was headed by Mr. Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, and was accompanied by Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Mr. Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Ms. Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Finance and Transport, in addition to Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower, and Mr. Sam Tan, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Community Development, Youth and Sports.

As for the Qatari side, it was headed by board member Sheikh Hamad Bin Faisal Al Thani, and the meeting was attended by Mr. Sherida Al-Kaabi, board member, along with the distinguished members, Mr. Khaled Al Mannai , Mr. Abdel Hameed Mustafawi, Mr. Maqbool Habib Khalfan and Mr. Ashraf Abu Issa.

During the meeting, Mr. Teo Chee Hean discussed Singaporean investment incentives that include the country’s significant geographic location, high market competitiveness, corrupt-free climate, as well as skilled labor, 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, His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about cooperation between the two countries in the implementation of infrastructural projects, and the construction of New Doha International Airport. Mr. Teo Chee Hean also noted that it is possible for Qatari companies to benefit from their Singaporean counterparts experience to build stadiums, and establish cooling units for the World Cup 2022 facilities.

On the other hand, Sheikh / Hamad Bin Faisal Al Thani, spoke about the favorable investment climate and opportunities in Qatar, where Qatar is ranked first amongst the Arab and the Middle East countries, and 17th internationally having most competitive economy. In addition, it also has the highest per capita GDP in the Arab world, according to the International Monetary Fund (2010). Moreover, Sheikh Hamad also added that there are vast opportunities for cooperation, where Qatari companies can plan and implement development projects with their Singaporean counterparts, while organizing and preparing for the World Cup 2022.

At the end, Mr. Teo Chee Hean thanked the members of the Association for the meeting, and invited them to visit Singapore, since it is rich with trade and investment opportunities in various commercial and industrial sectors.

It is worth mentioning, that the trade relations between the two countries has increased by 12%, reaching 6 billion USD in 2010, in comparison to 5.5 billion USD in 2009. Qatar is also considered the third largest trading partner of Singapore between the GCC, where Singapore imports and 7.7% of Qatar’s total exports, which is based on crude oil and petrochemicals.