On April 17-18 Singapore hosted the III “Russia-Singapore Business Dialogue”. Previously the first two events were held in Moscow. The Forum confined to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia (as the successor of the USSR) and Singapore. The Forum was organized by the Russia-Singapore Business Council.
The event brought together around 140 delegates from Russia and Singapore sides. The first part of the Forum was devoted to general issues of economic cooperation between Russia and Singapore. In particular, Senior Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Singapore Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Mr. Alexey Gruzdev and Deputy CEO of the State Corporation Rostec, Chairman of the Russia-Singapore Business Council Mr. Nikolay Volobuev participated in the event as speakers. The positive development of bilateral economic relations was acknowledged. The growth in 2017 compared with 2016 was about 94%. However, there is still room for it, while among the drivers could be the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the EAEU and Singapore. Another catalyst for the process could be cooperation in the field of high technologies and support of start-ups.
In the second part of the Forum the work proceeded in two parallel sections. Within the first session an exchange of views on the prospects for cooperation in the field of medicine, telemedicine, medical equipment and products took place. The participants found that there are serious prospects for expanding export-import cooperation in both directions. One of the hindrances is the certification and unreadiness of many enterprises for its implementation because of the length, high cost of the process and simply fear that the product might prove to be non-demanded. At the same time, in the frames of the Forum and the business mission the agreements on certification and promotion of Russian products to Singapore were reached.
Within the scope of the second session the investment projects of the Russian regions were presented: Tatarstan, Primorsky Krai, Samara region as well as the key Moscow technopark Kalibr, considered as a point of landing for Asian companies in Russia. In addition, a number of start-up projects of Russian technology parks from Moscow, Voronezh region, and Novosibirsk were shown. Local government agency Enterprise Singapore emphasized some projects as the most promising in terms of attracting Singapore investments. For its part, the Singapore party also showed interest in possible investments from Russia.
On the second day of the Forum the youth session was held for the first time. In the course of its work issues of youth cooperation, sustainable development and interaction in the sphere of green industry of EAEU and ASEAN on the example of Russia and Singapore were discussed. A creation of the Youth Russia-Singapore Business Council – a project, implemented by the Russia-Singapore Business Council together with the MGIMO University was also announced here.
The Forum was the main event of the business mission of Russian enterprises to Singapore. Meanwhile, bilateral and multilateral meetings of various companies and organizations took place on April 16-20. As a result, a number of contracts and agreements were concluded by Russian companies with Singapore and Malaysia partners in various industries. In addition, the agreement reached during the last session of the High-Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission on the organization of an exhibition of Russian high technologies in Singapore was confirmed. It is expected that the exhibition will start its activity this autumn.
Among the upcoming events of the Russia-Singapore Business Council apart from the above-mentioned exhibition it is worth mentioning the organization of two more such business missions of Russian enterprises to Singapore (summer and autumn 2018), as well as a business mission of Singapore companies to Russia (August-September 2018).