Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Grace Fu, is on official visit to Kazakhstan from Oct 20-23, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
On Monday, she met and was hosted to lunch by Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov in Astana. Both ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish bilateral consultations between the two Foreign Ministries.
During Minister Fu's discussion with Minister Idrissov, they reaffirmed the warm and friendly ties between Singapore and Kazakhstan as both countries celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.
Minister Fu noted that excellent bilateral relations have been underpinned by the personal links between our leaders, in particular between Mr Lee Kuan Yew and President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The two Ministers agreed that there was scope to expand bilateral cooperation particularly in the areas of trade and investment.
Furthermore, Minister Fu reiterated Singapore's willingness to share our developmental experience in areas that are useful for Kazakhstan.
Minister Fu was also hosted to dinner by Minister of Environment Protection Nurlan Kapparov yesterday. According to MFA, she was briefed on the environmental challenges facing Central Asia as well as Kazakhstan's plans to develop renewable energy. She also extended an invitation to Minister Kapparov to participate in the Singapore International Water Week in June 2014.
Apart from meeting her counterparts, Minister Fu called on former Prime Minister and current Head of the Presidential Administration Karim Massimov as well as First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Bakytzhan Sagintayev, said MFA. During the meetings, Minister Fu said that Singapore valued our good relations with Kazakhstan. She noted that there were opportunities to learn from each other's experience as both Singapore and Kazakhstan were relatively young nations.
In Astana, Minister Fu also visited the Nazarbayev University where she had an engaging dialogue session with about 60 students. Minister Fu shared about Singapore's developmental experience and the key factors underpinning Singapore's policies. She welcomed the visit to Singapore by students of the University's Graduate School of Public Policy next year. In addition, Minister Fu visited a local public school and was briefed on Kazakhstan's education system.
Minister Fu departs Astana on Tuesday for Almaty where she will meet the Mayor of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yessimov.