Agreement paves way for Singapore to boost trade and investment in Russia

Out-Law News | 11 Jul 2014 | 10:39 am | 1 min. read

A new agreement between Singapore and Russia paves the way for Singapore firms to invest in the development of Russia’s roads infrastructure, public transport networks and urban planning, according to Singapore’s senior minister of state for trade and industry Lee Yi Shyan.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise agency and the city of Moscow’s department for external economic and international relations also offers “opportunities for cooperation” on seaport and airport projects, tourism and public administration, Lee said.

The MOU was signed during a trade mission to Russia (3-page / 224 KB PDF) led by Lee last month, during which Lee held talks with Sergei Cheremin, the minister in charge of international economic relations for the Russian capital.

Lee also discussed potential opportunities for Singapore companies in Russia’s Far East with the first deputy minister for development of the region Alexander Osipov.

A separate agreement was signed with the governor of St Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko, “to continue expanding cooperation between Singapore and St Petersburg in sectors such as transport, science parks, urban planning, e-government and training programmes”.

According to Lee, both sides have “broadened and deepened cooperation in recent years” as Russian regions and cities seek to “emulate Singapore’s developmental experience and economic achievements”.

Lee said: “In terms of inbound interests, we see an increasing number of Russian companies locating their regional headquarters and trading operations in Singapore to better serve the Asia-Pacific markets.”

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the government agency charged with supporting the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies, bilateral trade between Russia and Singapore grew at a compound annual growth rate of 8.2% over recent years, from 3.79 billion Singapore dollars (SGD) ($2.9bn) in 2008 to SGD 6.09bn ($4.8bn) in 2012.

As of the end of 2011, Singapore’s direct investments into Russia amounted to SGD 60 million ($48m) and Singapore is keen to boost trade with its 25th largest trading partner worldwide.

IE Singapore said last year that it had signed an MOU with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to help companies in Singapore identify trade opportunities in emerging European markets, particularly Russia and Turkey.