July 05 - 11, 2004





The official visit of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Goh Chock Tong, along-with a strong delegation, to Pakistan last week is being viewed as highly important development as it has laid down institution parameters for a sustained development and closer cooperation between the two counties in many fields. It has led to a qualitative upgrading in relations of the two countries.

Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and his counterpart from Singapore held sustained talks covering all aspects of bilateral relations not only in economics and commercial fields, but also in political, cultural, academic, scientific development, fight against terrorism, information technology, defense and other spheres of international cooperation. The two countries reaffirmed to combating terrorism and other transnational crime in a comprehensive manner. The two countries agreed to enhance counter terrorism cooperation between the officials dealing with security and intelligence in their respective capitals.

The Prime Minister of Singapore offered to open negotiation with Pakistan from a free trade agreement, which was highly appreciated by Prime Minister Jamali who invited investors from Singapore to avail highly lucrative investment opportunities available in Pakistan in the wide ranging sector of industry, services, agriculture, livestock and communication. Jamali proposed joint venture for this purpose and the same was welcomed by Goh Tong.

The over an hour-long meeting between the two delegations discussed the regional situation in South Asia, Afghanistan, North Korea and Iraq. The Prime Minister of Singapore appreciated the steps taken to open talks between Pakistan and India and emphasized the need for "sustained efforts for resolution of all disputes". Greater cooperation between Saarc and Asean countries was also discussed and emphasized by both sides. Both agreed the need to have a regular political consultation between the two foreign ministers and a Memorandum of Understanding was singed to this effect between the two foreign secretaries. The declaration signed at the ministerial level envisages directions in building bilateral relations with an eye to future, the official said.

The Pakistan side included Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, Minister for Commerce Humayun Akhtar and Minister for Information and Technology Awais Leghari, Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar.

Following is the text of the joint declaration:

"The Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of the Republic of Singapore desirous for further strengthening their close cooperative ties and friendship between their peoples, have agreed as follows:-

1) The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore value highly their mutually beneficial cooperation, which has been strengthening and broadening at the strategic, political, economic and cultural planes.

2) At the strategic and political levels, both countries shall make every effort to further develop their relations and multi-faced cooperation for the common benefit of the two countries.



In this regard each side shall be guided by applicable principles of international law as well as traditions of friendly relations between their two countries, and furthermore, on the basis of mutual respect of national sovereignty, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and equality as well as the basis of respect for human rights and democratic principles of each country.

3) The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore shall cooperative in maintaining peace and stability in South East Asia, South Asia and other regions of the world, and the promotion and preservation of international security.

They reaffirm their commitment to implement the purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter and to contribute to the strengthening of the peacekeeping and peacemaking role of the United Nations and also to the peaceful settlement of conflict and disputes.

4) The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore shall strengthening mechanism of mutual consultation and cooperation by instituting regular working level consultations alternately in their respective capital between their respective foreign ministers.

5) The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Singapore underlined the importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and reaffirmed their countries commitment to combating terrorism and other transactional crimes in a comprehensive manner.

The two countries agreed to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation between the officials dealing with security and intelligence and law-enforcement agencies in their respective capital.

6) Promote trade, including direct trade, and in this context launched, negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement toward the end of 2004.

7) Encouraging joint ventures and promote closer cooperation between the private sectors of both countries.

8) Explore, develop and conclude arrangements for mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

9) Increase cooperation in the field of defense through internationals and exchanges between the relevant ministers.

10) Develop and promote activities and programmes to enhance people-to-people and cultural contacts.

11) Increase cultural contacts, institute student exchanges, facilitate collaboration among academic intuitions.

12) Promote cooperation in Science and Technology through sharing of information and expertise, joint research on sectors of common interest, and to jointly organize seminars bringing together senior scientists of both side.

Singapore's spectacular economic and industrial development is indeed an example for Pakistan to emulate. In particular, Singapore's policies that successfully attracted foreign investors, can serve as a guideline for Pakistan which is also making stupendous efforts to invite private foreign investment. Almost all the leading names among the multinational companies in the world are stated to have made investment in Singapore in wide ranging manufacturing fields.