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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - SINGAPORE: Singapore sees growth opportunities in logistics, transport and green energy under the Saudi Vision 2030, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng said on Tuesday, as the two countries have recently elevated their ties to a strategic level.
Saudi Arabia and Singapore agreed to strengthen relations during an official visit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the Kingdom and his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month.
The visit was preceded by seven memoranda of understanding to facilitate investment opportunities, which were inked during the third session of the Saudi-Singapore Joint Committee held in Riyadh, led by Tan, who is also the city state’s second minister for trade and industry, and Saudi Transport and Logistic Services Minister Saleh Al-Jasser.
“Minister of Transport and Logistic Services Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser and I reaffirmed our commitment to growing our countries’ bilateral ties,” Tan told Arab News.
“With Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the country has seen new growth areas for Singapore’s businesses on many fronts, such as in logistics, transport and green energy. I had shared with His Excellency Al-Jasser Singapore’s interests to deepen our cooperation in the ports and logistics sectors and Singaporean companies’ interest to participate in projects arising from Vision 2030.”
Singapore, Asia’s top logistics hub, has been ranked by the World Bank as the first in the world for logistics competence, infrastructure and timeliness of services.
During the Saudi-Singapore Joint Committee’s recent sessions, the Saudi Ports Authority, known as Mawani, and Saudi Global Ports, a subsidiary of Singapore’s port operator PSA, signed an agreement to establish an integrated logistics zone at the King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam.
“The development of the integrated logistics zone is one of SGP’s partnerships with Mawani on its Vision 2030 roadmap to grow Saudi Arabia as a logistics hub,” Tan said.
“On the energy front, I was pleased that Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and I signed the Energy Cooperation Roadmap. Through this, we will see closer cooperation in areas such as low-carbon solutions and technologies, renewable energy, energy efficiency and innovation for decarbonization. Prince Abdulaziz and I also discussed our countries’ commitment to our energy transition.”
This year’s joint committee meeting also saw in attendance representatives of the private sector from the Federation of Saudi Chambers and the Singapore Business Federation, as well as members of a business delegation from Singapore, which signed five memoranda with the Saudi Ministry of Investment to facilitate their entry into the Kingdom.
Tan said that Singaporean companies were also interested in working together with Saudis in the fields of oil and gas, tourism and hospitality, urban infrastructure and education sectors.
He gave as an example Surbana Jurong, a Singaporean government-owned consulting company focusing on infrastructure and urban development, which has already established offices in Riyadh to work on design consultancy in NEOM, the Kingdom’s flagship smart-city megaproject under Vision 2030.
“I am also glad that (the Saudi Ministry of Investment) has set up a Singapore office earlier this year in September, to promote investments into the Kingdom and facilitate Saudi companies tapping into Singapore to expand into Asia,” Tan said.
“With these developments, I hope that in the years to come, there will be greater presence by Singapore companies in the Kingdom, and that more Saudi companies will explore using Singapore as a launchpad into Southeast Asia.”
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