[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

[Doha Asian Games]
1. Tomorrow, PM will be visiting our athletes at the Asian Games Village. The Qataris have done an amazing job getting everything done in time. When I came here in May earlier this year, they were working like mad. Many projects in the country ran out of cement as every bag was diverted to the construction of Games facilities.



2. Since my first visit to Doha in Nov 2001 for the WTO Ministerial Meeting (which launched the Doha Development Agenda or Doha Round), the city has been transformed. It is now a beautiful city with handsome buildings and green parks lining the corniche. The GDP growth rate in Qatar over the last few years has probably been the highest in the world at well over 10% a year. Real estate prices have shot the roof.

3. We are seeing a growing presence of Singaporeans and Singapore companies in Qatar. Keppel has just secured a sizeable waste management project. The Qatari Government is keen to see us do more. We have to compete of course but we do have a good reputation as being reliable and honest.

4. Our former PAP Branch Secretary Halim Kadir has been helping the Qataris on the organisation of sepak takraw for the Asian Games. I hope to see him and other Singaporeans on this visit. Ephraim who owns this blogsite told me that he has enlisted as a volunteer and will be coming up in one or two weeks' time, after his exams.

5. It is good to see Singaporeans fanning out to various parts of the world for fun, fame and fortune. It is never without risk but then what is life without risk. Many Singaporeans must be wondering why there has been such a flurry of official visits to the Middle East recently - President Nathan to Egypt and Jordan, MM to Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, and, now, PM to Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Well, there are interesting opportunities in this region. By paving the way politically, we make it easier for our businessmen to explore possibilities.

6. When China was all the rage, non-Chinese Singaporeans wondered whether the Government was being even-handed. Then we had the Indian fever and now the Middle East beckons. Within a relatively short period, we have restored all the links which created modern Singapore, the same links which brought many of our forefathers to our sunny island. These same links will take us far this century.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Within a relatively short period, we have restored all the links which created modern Singapore, the same links which brought many of our forefathers to our sunny island. These same links will take us far this century."

I agreed strongly to the above sentimental statement.

I just hope that there will be enough Singaporeans in the future for this enormous opportunities out there, be it business, the arts or education. = )

Thursday, November 30, 2006 6:02:00 pm

 

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