ISTANBUL (AA): Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said that his country is “firmly committed” to further strengthening ties with Singapore, as his Singaporean counterpart Halimah Yacob visited the capital Astana.
“It is a great honor for us that the first visit to Central Asia by the President of Singapore is to Kazakhstan … I am sure that this visit will be the beginning of a new milestone in our mutually beneficial cooperation,” Tokayev said ahead of a meeting with Yacob, according to a Kazakh presidency statement.
The statement said the two leaders discussed the state and prospects for the development of Kazakh-Singaporean relations, adding that discussions were made with an emphasis on strengthening political dialogue, deepening trade and economic cooperation and expanding cultural and humanitarian ties.
It also said that trade, economic and investment cooperation held a key place in the relations between the two countries, with Tokayev underlining that more than 140 Singaporean companies and joint ventures operated in Kazakhstan.
“The total volume of Singaporean investments in the economy of Kazakhstan exceeded $1.4 billion. Despite the economic shocks and the pandemic, last year the volume of mutual trade approached $2 billion. I think that this is a very good result,” Tokayev said, adding that his country’s doors are always open for Singaporean tourists and businesspeople.
Yacob thanked Tokayev for his invitation to visit Kazakhstan and said she highly appreciated the level of political dialogue and mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries, the statement said.
“This is the first ever visit of the President of Singapore to Kazakhstan and, in general, to Central Asia. And so this is an important visit,” Yacob said.
The two delegations signed four documents to expand bilateral cooperation, notably in the economic, trade and investment sectors, the statement said.