Recognising the rising opportunities in Russia, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Singapore Business Federation (SBF) led a joint business mission to the Russian Federation (Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kazan) from 17 to 22 June 2013 to explore collaborative partnerships. The mission comprised nine companies from the architectural, education, electronics, information communication technologies and urban solutions sectors. It was held in conjunction with the fourth Singapore-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), co-chaired by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mr Igor Shuvalov.
Amidst global economic volatilities, Russia has stepped up structural reforms to stimulate and sustain economic growth. As the world’s eighth largest economy, it has diversified its economy to include more modern and technologically-advanced sectors. In the last five years, the government has committed to building innovation hubs, including 88 techno-parks in 36 Russian regions and 18 Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Russia is also the host of upcoming world events such as the 2014 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games in Sochi, 2014 - 2020 F1 Russian Grand Prix and 2018
FIFA World Cup. The Russian economy could also overtake Germany to become the largest European economy (in PPP terms) before year 2020.
Ms Kathy Lai, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, IE Singapore said, “The long-term growth potential of Russia remains positive as the country restructures its economy to attract foreign investments. The growing middle class and urban developments underpin the market’s growth potential. These will also translate into immediate opportunities for Singapore companies in master planning, education and infocomm technology (ICT).”
Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, SBF, said, “In addition, Russia’s official ascension to the World Trade Organisation last August had been 19 years in the making. I believe that this watershed moment will pave the way for a new chapter in Russia’s international trade and investment profile, and bilateral exchanges will stand to benefit in the long run.”
During the mission, Singapore companies participated at the IGC to showcase their expertise and table their business interests in Russia. Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Trade and Industry and National Development attended the first leg of the business mission in Moscow on 18 June, while DPM Tharman joined the delegation in Saint Petersburg on 19 June, followed by Kazan on 21 June. During the trip, DPM Tharman called on Saint Petersburg’s Governor, Georgy Sergeyevich Poltavchenko and President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. SMS Lee called on Moscow Vice Mayor, Andrei Sharanov.
Growing economic collaboration with signings across sectors
Singapore-Russia economic collaboration was brought to a new level with government/company signings across different sectors and geographies.
Signings for Tatarstan
In Kazan yesterday, DPM Tharman and President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov witnessed the signing of one master service agreement and one Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
i) IE Singapore signed a MOU with the Ministry of Informatization and Communications of the Republic of Tatarstan to facilitate information exchange and boost collaboration on the facilitation of Singapore companies to participate in the development of Innopolis, one of the newest and innovative techno-parks in Russia. Areas of potential participation by Singapore companies include architectural design, commercial and residential developments, Special Economic Zones, urban mobility transport and smart city solutions, as well as urban planning.
ii) Educare International Consultancy (Educare), a Singapore education company, has been providing professional development training to teachers in Tatarstan since 2011. Previous programmes conducted in 2011 and 2012 were well-received and have trained 480 teachers. Building on its previous success, the company signed a master service agreement with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tatarstan for a comprehensive four-year teaching quality enhancement project from 2013 to 2016, to cascade the training to more than 33,000 teachers, educators and school leaders.
At the IGC on 19 June,
IDA International signed a MOU with the Ministry of informatization and Communications of the Republic of Tatarstan to develop and improve collaboration on ICT. This is specific to the use of ICT in clusters such as eGovernment domains and Innopolis, through master planning, diagnostic workshops, consultancy services, e-Government training programmes for the public sector as well as development of e-Government capacity building programmes. The MOU would foster joint participation in programmes and initiatives to be implemented by both the public and private sectors, accelerating the development and adoption of ICT in the Republic of Tatarstan.
ST Electronics signed a MOU with the Ministry of Informatization and Communications of the Republic of Tatarstan, outlining three key areas of potential collaboration – a) intelligent transport system, b) mission-critical decision support systems for government and enterprise, and c) airport systems, communications, mobility systems, security, and smart utilities.
The MOU will pave the way for ST Electronics to bring both hardware and software to two projects - Kazan Smart City and Innopolis. Tatarstan government officials
met ST Electronics during a trip led by SMS Lee to China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) in April this year. They expressed interest to work with Singapore companies after witnessing the scale and layout of SIP.
Signing for Pskov region
At the IGC on 19 June, Jurong Consultants signed a management consultancy contract with the joint stock company SEZ Moglino to provide consultancy and management services to the Moglino SEZ in the Pskov region for a period of six months.
Signing for St. Petersburg
During the mission on 18 June, RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (Pte) Ltd signed a MOU with Amtel Properties to develop a conceptual site plan and architectural design for a 30 hectare mixed-use development project in St. Petersburg. The project will consist mainly of multi-family residential apartments, facilities like schools and kindergarten, commercial spaces such as shopping malls and business centre, taking reference from the Singapore model.
Singapore-Russia trade and investments
Bilateral trade between Russia and Singapore grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% over the past five years, from S$3.79 billion in 2008 to S$6.09 billion in 2012. Last year, bilateral trade reached S$6.09 billion, growing by a strong 29.9%. Russia is currently Singapore’s 25th largest trading partner worldwide. As of end 2011, Singapore’s direct investments abroad (stock) into Russia amounted to S$60 million.
Jointly issued by IE Singapore and SBF.
Source: The DNA