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Singapore, Russia businesses to explore opportunities in consumer and technology sectors

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It was witnessed by the co-chairs of the commission, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam (right) and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Maxim Akimov.

SINGAPORE businesses can explore opportunities in Russia in sectors such as consumerism and technology. Firms from both countries can collaborate to innovate as well.

This was the message from the Russia-Singapore Business Forum held on Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore with over 300 business leaders from both countries in attendance.

The annual event is organised by Enterprise Singapore and aims to bring Russian and Singapore businesses together to foster investment and trade and the exchange of ideas. This year marks the 13th run of the forum.

In a press release, Enterprise Singapore said that Russia was Singapore's 24th largest trading partner last year, with bilateral trade in goods growing at a compounded annual rate of 15 per cent from less than S$2 billion in 2007 to S$7.4 billion in 2017.

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Singapore's stock of direct investment abroad in Russia reached S$420 million as at the end of 2015.

Enterprise Singapore said there are about 20 Singapore companies in Russia, in sectors such as technology, consumer goods and services, infrastructure and trade.

Start-ups from Singapore and Russia will now also have access to business networks, markets and resources in both countries following the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) at the forum on Wednesday.

The signing took place at the ninth session of the high-level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission, which is an annual bilateral dialogue to strengthen broad-based cooperation between the two countries.

It was witnessed by the co-chairs of the commission, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Maxim Akimov.

One MOU was signed between a Russian venture capital fund, Internet Initiatives Development Fund, and Singapore's Action for Community Entrepreneurship. The other was between the Russian Export Centre, Skolkovo Foundation, Sistema Group and Enterprise Singapore.

The two DPMs agreed to further encourage commercial partnerships in the information and communications technology sector and digital economy, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement yesterday.

THE STRAITS TIMES