Rwandan President Paul Kagame has held bilateral talks with his counterpart of Singapore President Halima Yacob at the Istana, Singapore’s Presidential Palace.
According to the Rwandan Presidency, discussions between the two leaders focused on bilateral relations and topics of common interest including innovation, technology and education.
The Rwandan leader later held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong where they had a cordial exchange on key topics including socio-economic transformation, reconciliation and good governance. They also committed to further strengthening existing bilateral cooperation according to details released by the Presidency.
Prime Minister Loong visited Rwanda in June where he held a bilateral meeting with President Kagame. Their talks focused on digital economy, FinTech, and judicial cooperation.
Rwanda and Singapore also have strong collaboration on the multilateral front.
The two countries share many similarities. Being smaller countries surrounded by much larger neighbours, both countries have constantly strived for positive diplomacy and economic integration in the region to foster better relations with the international community.
Prime Minister Loong said that although Singapore and Rwanda are on different continents, both are small countries with limited resources and are keen to work with others to secure peace, progress, and prosperity for their peoples.
Singapore is also Rwanda’s largest trading partner in the world, with approximately US$150 million worth of foreign direct investments made by Singapore companies in Rwanda.
Singapore and Rwanda established diplomatic relations on 18 March 2005, and have conducted a host of trade agreements since then. Visa restrictions were lifted for nationals of Singapore and Rwanda when travelling between the two countries, and the High Commission of the Republic of Rwanda in Singapore was officially opened in 2008.
An agreement to avert double taxation was signed between the two countries in August 2014 in order to facilitate bilateral trade.
Meanwhile, many Singaporeans regularly visit Rwanda for its forests, volcanoes and national parks, as well as to participate in its environmentally-conscious Mountain Gorilla trekking programs.