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Singapore's warm bilateral relations with the Central Asian countries are testament to how friendship between countries can transcend historical and cultural dissimilarities. Singapore and the Central Asian countries are similar in that we are young nations which must carve out political and economic space for ourselves in the international arena. This solidarity has propelled mutual engagement in recent years, especially with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan maintain embassies in Singapore while the Kyrgyz Republic’s Embassy in Beijing is accredited to Singapore. Singapore has accredited Non-Resident Ambassadors (NRA) to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Singapore also has an Honorary Consul-General in Kazakhstan.
Recent Bilateral Highlights
High level bilateral visits between Singapore and the Central Asian countries have stepped up in recent years, serving to strengthen ties and promote cooperation between both sides. We have received State Visits from Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. Then-Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerzhan Kazykhanov recently visited Singapore in April 2012. Singapore leaders – including Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli, then-Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi, then-Foreign Minister George Yeo and then-Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed – have also visited Central Asia.
On 21 February 2012, Kazakh Ambassador Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev conferred the "Dostyk Order (First Degree)" and the "Twenty Years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan" medals to Mr Lee Kuan Yew on behalf of President Nazarbayev. The Dostyk Order is a highly prestigious medal awarded to senior political leaders. The "Twenty Years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan" medal is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions in bilateral relations with Kazakhstan.
Both sides have sought to deepen political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation in recent years. In the economic arena, Singapore has worked closely with the Governments of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, signing various economic agreements to promote bilateral trade and investment as well as people-to-people interaction. Singapore has also held business forums with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
This year, a few collaborations in the field of education and capacity-building have also been finalised between Kazakhstan and Singapore’s respective government and non-government institutions. For instance, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy recently signed a long term partnership agreement with the Nazarbayev University. In addition, the Temasek Foundation in Singapore is working with the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science to provide training for Kazakh senior government officials and policy makers. Singapore has also shared our developmental experience with the Central Asian countries through the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP).
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