SINGAPORE – Eight agreements were signed on Tuesday aimed at deepening cooperation between Singapore and Uzbekistan, in areas such as transport, trade, education and healthcare capabilities.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who is here on his first state visit to Singapore, witnessed the exchange of the pacts at the Istana.
Among the agreements is one between Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health and Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic International aimed at boosting the healthcare and information technology capacity and capability of Uzbekistan.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed between Enterprise Singapore and the Investment Promotion Agency under Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investments, Industry and Trade to work on the promotion of bilateral economic relations.
President Mirziyoyev, who began his visit here on Monday, received a ceremonial welcome at the Istana on Tuesday morning.
He then paid a courtesy call on President Halimah Yacob. He also had a new orchid hybrid named in his honour, Dendrobium Shavkat Mirziyoyev, at the Istana.
The two leaders reaffirmed the friendly ties between Singapore and Uzbekistan during the call. President Halimah welcomed closer connectivity between Singapore and Uzbekistan, including people-to-people ties and parliamentary exchanges. She also encouraged Uzbekistan to use Singapore as the gateway to engage South-east Asia.
She said in a Facebook post of the Uzbek President’s trip: “The visit is timely as 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations.”
She added: “While our countries differ in size and geography, we do share common interests such as supporting women development, providing quality education, and enhancing trade and parliamentary ties. With President Mirziyoyev’s support, I am confident that Singapore-Uzbekistan relations will continue to strengthen in the years ahead.”
During his meeting with the Uzbek leader, PM Lee welcomed Uzbekistan’s interest to learn from Singapore’s experience in areas such as education, public administration and civil service training. He was updated on Uzbekistan’s development strategy, and President Mirziyoyev welcomed Singapore companies to explore opportunities in Uzbekistan.
PM Lee said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that Singapore and Uzbekistan face a complex geopolitical environment.
“While our circumstances are different, we share a common interest to promote peace and stability in Asia. We exchanged views on regional and global developments, including Singapore’s experience in human capital development, which is a key pillar of our nation’s development,” he said, adding that he was pleased to see President Mirziyoyev.
President Halimah, speaking at a state banquet she hosted for the Uzbek leader on Tuesday evening, also highlighted Singapore and Uzbekistan’s common goal to promote inter-faith dialogue and harmony among different races, and the two countries’ mutual interest in promoting peace and stability in Asia.
She said: “As we look forward to a post-pandemic world, a key lesson from the last three years is the importance of forging trust and cooperation among partners… Singapore looks forward to deepening its ties with Uzbekistan in the years ahead. We welcome Uzbekistan’s interest in Singapore’s experience in areas such as education, transport, public administration, and civil service training.”
“I hope that Singapore can play a small part in Uzbekistan’s development as it strives to achieve its development strategy of the new Uzbekistan” under President Mirziyoyev’s leadership, she added.