The Implementation Monitoring Mechanism of the Qatar-Singapore High Level Joint Committee (HLJC) held its first meeting yesterday.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Both co-chairs reaffirmed the outcome of the visit of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to the Republic of Singapore in October 2017, which saw the signing of seven agreements.
They welcomed the increased level of bilateral cooperation in all sectors. In a joint statement, the two sides recognised the importance of the HLJC, co-chaired by the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the Deputy Premier and Coordinating Minister for National Security of Singapore, Teo Chee Hean.
The co-chairs noted with satisfaction the progress made in activating the IMM in the six months since its inception in Singapore in October 2017 under the HLJC umbrella. Both sides agreed that the action and implementation-oriented approach of the IMM would advance Government-to-Government, Business-to-Government, and Business-to-Business partnerships for mutual benefit.
Both co-chairs reviewed the work of the six Technical Working Committees established under the IMM in the areas of Information and Communications Technology, Security, Business, Sustainability, Legal, and Social Development. The co-chairs welcomed the exchange of points of contact of representatives from both sides to facilitate prompt follow-up on bilateral cooperation.
The co-chairs welcomed the completion of the necessary procedures to bring into force the Agreement between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of Singapore for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (i.e. Bilateral Investment Treaty), so as to strengthen economic and trade ties between Qatar and Singapore.
The two side referred to the positive result of the Senior Officials’ Meeting which was held in Doha on 12 April and resulted in several agreements including, the visit of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) delegation to Doha to support the inaugural IMM and to further strengthen commercial collaboration. The Qatar Chamber and the Singapore Business Council agreed to convene a business-matching session between the small-and-medium enterprises from both markets in the last quarter of 2018.
Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Development Bank and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) agreed to jointly explore entry for FinTech companies into each other’s markets.
In the smart utilities sector, ESG also agreed to share Singapore’s experience in smart grid management and electricity demand response with the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation. Qatar’s Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Singapore’s Ministry of Law looked forward to holding their inaugural joint committee meeting to discuss legal cooperation and activities, as agreed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the legal field between the governments of Qatar and Singapore.
Singapore welcomed the completion of the procedures of the State of Qatar for the MOU for Cooperation between the Centre for Legal and Judicial Studies in the MOJ and the Singapore Academy of Law, and both sides looked forward to the prompt entry into force of the MOU and the conduct of workshops and training courses.
The Qatar Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the Singapore Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources also agreed to hold the next Joint Forum in the second quarter of 2019 to explore a plan of action for bilateral cooperation.
The Qatar Diplomatic Institute and the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy exchanged views on joint programmes, and Singapore agreed to host a study visit for officials from the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019.
To develop and strengthen bilateral relations in all areas, both co-chairs agreed to continue cooperation through the work of the IMM Technical Working Committees, and looked forward to the eighth meeting of the HLJC in the Republic of Singapore.