ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and President of Singapore Halimah Yacob affirmed their commitment to enhance bilateral relations and expand exports during a May 22 meeting, reported the Akorda press service.
This year, two countries are marking the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations based on “a trusting political dialogue and effective inter-parliamentary relations.” Tokayev noted his appreciation for Yacob’s visit to Kazakhstan, calling it a historic event.
“This visit will mark the beginning of a new milestone in our mutually beneficial cooperation. Kazakhstan is firmly committed to strengthening relations with Singapore,” Tokayev said.
The officials discussed prospects for bilateral relations, emphasizing to strengthen political dialogue, deepen trade and economic cooperation and expand cultural and humanitarian ties.
Tokayev focused on the crucial role of the Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Council that ensures a “solid institutional framework for bilateral cooperation,” and invited Singaporean tourists and businesspeople to visit Kazakhstan.
Yakob expressed her gratitude to Tokayev for the invitation and the warm hospitality extended to her and the Singaporean delegation. She commended the level of political dialogue and partnership between the two countries, noting a shared commitment to the principles of openness and order.
“This is the first-ever visit of a Singaporean President to Kazakhstan and, in general, to Central Asia, and this is an important trip. Kazakhstan is a very valuable partner for us in the Central Asian region,” Yakob said.
The Presidents exchanged views on expanding export opportunities and implementing a joint investment project to construct the G4 City agglomeration near Almaty. The sides also addressed cooperation within the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) and the Belt and Road Initiative, and discussed launching direct flights between the countries.
During the meeting, members of the official delegations signed four documents, including an agreement between the two countries on trade in services and investments, an agreement on cooperation between the Astana International Financial Centre and Enterprise Singapore, and a memorandum of understanding between QazTrade Trade Policy Development Center and Enterprise Singapore.
Following the meeting, Tokayev presented Yakob with a state award – the Order of Dostyk (Friendship) of the first degree – for her significant contribution to strengthening and developing cooperation between Kazakhstan and Singapore.
Yakob thanked Tokayev for the high honor, assuring that she would make every effort to develop comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.
The trade between Kazakhstan and Singapore in 2022 hit a record $1.9 billion, 65.1% higher than in the previous year ($1.2 billion), according to Kazakhstan’s Economic Research Institute.
Exports from Kazakhstan to Singapore increased by 67.8% and reached $1.9 billion. Imports to Kazakhstan from Singapore increased by 0.5% and were $47.1 million in 2022.
Gross foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow from Singapore to Kazakhstan reached $400 million last year, the highest figure since 2005.
More than 140 Singaporean companies operate in the country. According to the Kazakh Invest National Company, the Singaporean company Indorama Corporation plans to launch the production of phosphate fertilizers in Kazakhstan and invest more than $1 billion.
Prior to the meeting between the leaders of the two countries, President Yacob gave an exclusive interview to The Astana Times.