Singapore Ready to Forge Economic Ties

Singapore Ready to Forge Economic TiesSingapore Ready to Forge Economic Ties

A top Singaporean official said the southeastern country is ready to push for better economic relations with Iran.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers has paved the way for tapping into bilateral capacities for cooperation.

Loong made the statement in a meeting with visiting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Singapore on Tuesday evening, IRNA reported.

They discussed ways of developing economic cooperation in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on Mideast conflicts.

Zarif earlier met his Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan. In the meeting, Zarif called for closer economic cooperation with Asian states, in view of the considerable potentials of the Iranian economy.

"Iran welcomes promoting cooperation with Singapore in the fields of energy, banking, maritime transport, science, health, IT and petrochemicals," he said.

Balakrishnan stressed Singapore's willingness to invest in Iran, hailing a recent agreement to bolster bilateral trade and investment.

The bilateral investment treaty was signed by Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran and Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia in Tehran on February 29, to protect investors' interests by both sides and open up more business and investment opportunities.

On the same day, Zarif also met Singapore's Parliament Speaker Halima Yaqoub and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in addition to taking part in a meeting with Iranians living in Singapore.

The Iranian minister arrived in Singapore on Monday for a two-day visit after departing from Indonesia, where he had participated in the Fifth Extraordinary OIC Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif. Zarif set off on an Asia-Pacific tour on Saturday, which Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, said last week is aimed at taking advantage of the opportunities emerging for the country following the removal of international sanctions on Iran.

In the next stages of the six-country tour, the foreign minister will visit Brunei, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia to discuss expansion of bilateral ties and review the latest international developments.