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Lee Yi Shyan to visit Oman & Saudi Arabia

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan will make an official visit to Oman and Saudi Arabia from Saturday to help strengthen economic ties between Singapore and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

SINGAPORE: Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan will make an official visit to Oman and Saudi Arabia from Saturday to help strengthen economic ties between Singapore and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Singapore is the first non-Middle East country to have a free trade agreement with the six-member GCC, which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) entered into force on 1 September 2013.

In Riyadh, Mr Lee -- who is also senior minister of state for national development -- will co-chair the first meeting of the GSFTA Joint Committee with Dr Hamad Al-Bazai, coordinator-general of GCC FTA negotiations at the GCC secretariat, Singapore's Ministry of Trade & Industry (MTI) said on Friday.

He will also meet counterparts including Dr Ali Al-Sunaidy, Omani minister for commerce and industry, Darwish Al-Balushi, Oman minister responsible for financial affairs, Dr Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Saudi minister for commerce and industry, and Dr Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Saudi minister for finance.

As part of his visit, which ends 7 May, Mr Lee will also attend GSFTA Outreach Forums co-organised by the Singapore Business Federation and their respective counterparts in Muscat, Riyadh and Jeddah.

MTI said Singapore's economic relations with Oman and Saudi Arabia have grown steadily over the years.

Saudi Arabia was the city-state's second largest trading partner in the Middle East and 14th largest trading partner in the world with S$17.6 billion in trade last year.

Oman was Singapore's sixth largest trading partner in the Middle East with S$2.66 billion in trade.  

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