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IE Singapore ties up with South Korea's Gyeonggi province in tech start-ups, wholesale trade, logistics

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Under the MOU, IE Singapore and the Gyeonggi provincial government will organise business missions, business matching and facilitate Singapore and Gyeonggi-based companies to partner in the three areas.

MORE partnerships in technology startups, wholesale distribution and logistics between Singapore companies and South Korean firms is the target of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) inked on Tuesday between IE Singapore and Korean province Gyeonggi, host to many world-class companies like Hyundai and Samsung.

Under the MOU, IE Singapore and the Gyeonggi provincial government will organise business missions, business matching and facilitate Singapore and Gyeonggi-based companies to partner in the three areas.

The MOU will help Singapore technology startups enter Gyeonggi and access its ecosystem, said IE Singapore, which includes co-working spaces, incubators and in-market immersion programmes, all of which can help Singapore companies gain deeper understanding into South Korea's technology, as well as meet potential partners.

IE Singapore, the government agency responsible for helping Singapore companies go global, said local wholesale trade companies can collaborate with South Korean companies to jointly distribute their consumer products in the region, reinforcing the Republic's status as a trade hub.

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Gyeonggi is the most populous province in Korea with 12.5 million people, and its GDP of S$393 billion and S$271 billion worth of international trade in 2016 was the highest of all South Korean provinces.

Over 761,000 SMEs call Gyeonggi home, including those in the beauty, health supplements and textile industries. Many of them are looking at overseas expansion, focusing in particular on the growing South-east Asia consumer market.

Tan Soon Kim, IE Singapore's assistant chief executive, said Singapore companies could explore partnerships with South Korean firms to access other countries by "leveraging each other's strengths in areas such as technology and distribution network".

With heavy government support, the number of Korean startups has grown significantly since the introduction of the country's "Creative Economy" initiatives in 2013. The number of investments in Korean start-ups increased by 49 per cent from 2015-2016, and investment size increased by 23 per cent, with most firms dealing in information and communications technology (ICT) services, e-commerce and healthcare.

IE Singapore expects the Asia Pacific e-commerce market to grow to more than S$1.6 trillion by 2022 as demand grows for more cross-border fulfillment services.

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