Armenian President On Visit To Singapore

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is in Singapore on a three-day state visit to develop closer ties with one of the world’s wealthiest countries.

The Armenian leader began the official part of his visit on Wednesday by meeting the highest leadership of the island nation enjoying the world’s third highest GDP per capita based on a purchasing power parity.

Following meetings with Singapore’s president and prime minister, the Armenian leader attended a dinner given in his honor by the Business Federation of Singapore. The dinner was also attended by Singapore’s leading businessmen and heads of influential corporations.

According to the Armenian president’s press office, Sargsyan and his Singaporean counterpart Tony Tan Keng Yam discussed issues pertinent to “the development of cooperation in different areas, possible steps aimed at the invigoration of the Armenian-Singaporean political dialogue.” President Tony Tan Keng Yam is quoted as stressing that despite only two decades of diplomatic relations the Armenian-Singaporean ties have a history of more than 150 years and date back to the times when Armenians started to publish their first newspaper in Singapore and established the first Christian church.

Sargsyan, for his part, described Singapore as a rapidly developing successful state and a good example for other countries, including Armenia. The two also discussed prospects of cooperation in the areas of education, science, civil service and introduction of the Singaporean experience in Armenia.

At the meeting between Sargsyan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the parties referred, in particular, to the necessity of deepening economic cooperation between Armenia and Singapore.

According to Lee Hsien Loong, small countries do not decide on the course of international relations but follow international rules. The Prime Minister said that in his opinion, the size of the country is not an impediment for the development. He said it is no accident that both countries have participated in the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by the South Korean capital of Seoul earlier this week.

The official negotiations concluded in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Singapore in the cultural area and Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Singapore on the mutual abolishment of visa regime for the holders of diplomatic and service passports.

At the meeting with the leading businessmen and heads of influential corporations of Singapore, President Sargsyan discussed prospects of making investments in Armenia. The representatives of the business community of Singapore were reportedly interested in the opportunities for cooperating with Armenia in the areas of information technologies, telecommunications, health care, urban development and programming, construction of hydro-energy stations, waste management and water resources. At the meeting with Sargsyan it was agreed that Armenian businessmen will visit Singapore in the near future for the purpose of “translating negotiations and intentions into concrete programs.”

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