24 Feb 2009
REMARKS TO THE PRESS BY UMEJ BHATIA, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES AND HEAD OF MISSION OF THE SINGAPORE EMBASSY
"A WIN-WIN AND RESULTS-BASED PARTNERSHIP"
VISIT OF HIS EXCELLENCY WONG KAN SENG, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS
OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE TO QATAR
2-4 MARCH 2009
His Excellency Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Singapore will lead a high-level delegation to Doha from 2-4 March 2009 to co-chair the Third Meeting of the Qatar-Singapore High-Level Joint Committee (HLJC) with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar.
According to Umej Bhatia, Charge d'affaires and Head of Mission of the Singapore Embassy in Doha, the HLJC process is part of the "win-win" and "results-based" partnership between the two countries.
His Excellency Wong Kan Seng will be accompanied by several ministers and senior officials including Her Excellency Lim Hwee Hua, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Senior Minister of State for Transport; His Excellency Lui Tuck Yew, Senior Minister of State for Education, and Senior Minister of State for Information, Communication and the Arts; His Excellency Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry; and His Excellency Alphonsus Chia, Chief Executive of the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise. A delegation of around 50 Singaporean officials will also visit Singapore to enhance existing areas of bilateral cooperation and to explore collaboration in new sectors. Several bilateral agreements in areas such as urban planning and labour are expected to be signed.
According to Bhatia, the bilateral relationship has made important progress since the inaugural Qatar-Singapore High-Level Joint Committee meeting in October 2006. Along with a regular exchange of high-level visits, officials from both sides have also intensified exchanges. Singaporean and Qatari government experts are expected to engage in wide-ranging discussions on bilateral cooperation with their counterparts at officials-level meetings before the main HLJC Plenary. Bhatia said that the experts' meetings would be conducted under the chairmanship of His Excellency Ambassador Abdulrahman Al-Khulaifi, Director of Asian and African Affairs in the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The HLJC is an annual forum between senior Qatari and Singaporean leaders which convenes in Doha and Singapore in alternate years under the co-chairmanships of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and His Excellency Wong Kan Seng. Given the common interests and outlook of the two countries, as well as the commitment of senior decision-makers from both sides to work together, the HLJC was established in 2006 to develop a strategic bilateral relationship across all sectors. The HLJC continues to provide strategic oversight of bilateral relations and high-level review of the implementation of major bilateral projects. The inaugural HLJC meeting was held in October 2006 in Doha, and the Second HLJC Meeting was held in Singapore in October 2007.
Bhatia underscored that the HLJC has been fruitful because His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Heir Apparent of State of Qatar and His Excellency Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Singapore have emphasized the need for deliverables and results. This has set the direction for the experts and various officials to achieve concrete outcomes. The HLJC provides strategic direction to the relationship that focuses on positive results. It has produced 20 MOUs/Agreements in 15 areas of cooperation since 2006. A number of new agreements will be signed at the forthcoming HLJC from 2-4 March 09, while both sides will also review implementation of earlier agreements.
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
DOHA, STATE OF QATAR
24 FEBRUARY 2009