Singapore visa facility may be available in Muscat this year-end

Singapore’s Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lui Tuck Yew (second from right), with other foreign ministry officials

Singapore - 

Singapore  - In a sign of growing bilateral ties between Singapore and Oman, the Asian city state will soon open a consulate general in Muscat. Singaporean government officials told Muscat Daily that the diplomatic mission could open as early as the year-end.

Omani nationals and residents can currently apply for a visa through any of Singapore's three missions in UAE and Saudi Arabia. The newconsulate general in Muscat will enable them to submit their visa applications in the sultanate itself.

“We have already made a decision to set up a consulategeneral in Muscat,” said Lui Tuck Yew, Singapore’s Second Minister for ForeignAffairs and Minister of Transport.

Edmund Chia, Deputy Director General (Middle East, NorthAfrica and Central Asia) at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said thathis country has 'written officially' to Oman in this regard.

“Once theadministrative details are worked out, we would probably have a mission thereby the end of the year or early next year,” he added.

The move comes after the sultanate set up its own consulategeneral in Singapore last year. “Following the establishment of the Omaniconsulate general in Singapore, it was a natural way forward to establish asimilar Singaporean office in Oman,” said Teng Theng Dar, Singapore’s Non-ResidentAmbassador to Oman.

Singapore has a wide presence in the Gulf with embassies inRiyadh, Doha and Abu Dhabi, and a consulate general in Dubai.

Elaborating on the growing bilateral ties,Second Minister Yew said, “When our Foreign Minister [K Shanmugam] made histrip to the Middle East in May, his first stop was Oman.

We have had more thana dozen ministerial level visits to Oman in the last three years. There is somesubstantial cooperation that has come about as a result of such interactions.We are small countries and hence it is useful for us to make sure that we aresupportive of each other.”

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Oman and Singapore

- Oman’s bilateral trade with Singapore amounted to S$1.83bn (US$1.43bn) in 2011, an increase of 42 per cent from 2010.

- In 2010, foreign direct investments from Oman stood at S$113mn (US$85.5mn), making Oman the fifth largest investor in Singapore from the Middle East.

- There are five Omani companies based in Singapore, including BankMuscat, which set up a representative office there in October 2011.

- Major Singapore projects in Oman: A Sembcorp-led joint venture with a S$2.4bn (US$1.88bn) contract to develop an integrated water and power plant project (IWPP) in Salalah for the Omani Power and Water Procurement Company; ST Marine with a S$880mn (US$692mn) contract to build four offshore patrol vessels for Royal Navy of Oman.

Source: Singapore government agencies

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