Economy, Domestic Economy

Singapore Signs Investment Treaty

Singapore Signs Investment Treaty Singapore Signs Investment Treaty

Singapore and Iran signed a bilateral investment treaty to bolster bilateral trade and investment in Tehran on Monday.

The treaty was signed by Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran and Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia, Xinhua reported, citing Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments, also known as BIT, comes at a time of renewed interest from the business community and underscores the commitment by both governments to grow bilateral trade and investment, Xinhua reported.

The agreement will protect investors' interests from both sides and open up more business and investment opportunities.

“As part of their internationalization strategy, Singapore companies must venture beyond traditional markets to seize opportunities in new and emerging economies like Iran,” said Iswaran at the signing ceremony.

"With the signing of the bilateral investment treaty, we look forward to strengthening bilateral economic ties with our businesses collaborating on opportunities of mutual interest in Iran and other markets."

In 2015, Iran was Singapore's 11th largest trading partner out of 18 Middle East countries. And since the lifting of sanctions on Iran, Singapore companies have expressed interest in the offshore oil and gas, petrochemicals, transport, info-communications technology and professional services sectors.

Singapore is the second country after Japan to sign a bilateral investment treaty with the Islamic Republic following the lifting of nuclear sanctions in mid-January—as part of the July deal between Tehran and the world powers.

Visiting Tehran for a three-day trip, starting from Feb. 28, Iswaran is to explore new business and investment opportunities. His trip coincides with Singapore Business Federation's one-week mission to the capital city of Iran.

Iswaran also met with Iran’s Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.

As per the agreement, Singapore’s businesses can transfer capital and returns between the two countries without hindrance.

Representatives of 51 companies from sectors such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, logistics and information communications technology have been in Tehran since Friday, gaining firsthand knowledge about the business environment and investment opportunities in Iran.

“Singapore companies are known for their quality, reliability and the service we deliver ... but competition is greater than before and others are running very fast," Teo Siong Seng, chairman of Singapore Business Federation and leader of the visiting business mission, was quoted as saying by Strait Times.