23 Mar 2009
REMARKS TO THE PRESS BY EMBASSY OF SINGAPORE
SINGAPORE PRESIDENT COMMENDS QATAR'S VISION OF BALANCED DEVELOPMENT
His Excellency S R Nathan, President of the Republic of Singapore recently concluded the first ever visit by a Singapore Head of State to Qatar from 16-19 March 2009.
In comments to the press at the end of his visit, President Nathan said that he was impressed by the long-term vision and seriousness of Qatar's leaders to develop their country while preserving its rich cultural heritage. He noted: "Rather than taking comfort in their high earnings, they are now spending with a view to promote the image of Qatar and have the young generation exposed to modernity, while at the same time preserving their heritage." Adding that Singapore welcomes Qatar's vision, he observed: 'Just as we dream dreams, they are dreaming their dreams, and we can both work together.'
President Nathan underlined that there was scope for further cooperation between Qatar and Singapore, and that both sides accepted each other's frankness and the value placed on trust in the bilateral partnership. President Nathan added that he was optimistic that bilateral relations would strengthen and that there would be increasing interaction between businesses from both countries.
His Excellency Lee Boon Yang, Minister of Information, Communication and the Arts who accompanied the President during his visit to Qatar also told the press that Qatar was developing as a "centre of excellence", and that there were many business opportunities in Qatar, for example in the infocomm sector, that Singaporean businesses were exploring.
President Nathan was accompanied during his visit to Qatar by a delegation of around 40 government officials and 60 businessmen. Singapore and Qatar mark 25 years of diplomatic relations this year. According to Umej Bhatia, Charge d'affaires and Head of Mission of the Singapore Embassy in Qatar, the visit "has brought relations to a new high and underlines the strategic partnership between the two countries".
In his assessment of his first state visit to Qatar, President Nathan noted: "I leave fairly optimistic that our relations will strengthen and that as long as we maintain that trust that they have in us, we will be able to do more business."
President Nathan has sent an official invitation for His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar to make a state visit to Singapore. His Highness last visited Singapore in June 2005.
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
DOHA, STATE OF QATAR
23 MARCH 2009