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Background of Singapore Economy
After getting independence from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore had small domestic market, and high levels of unemployment and poverty. 70% of households were living in badly overcrowded conditions, and one- third of its people lived in slums. GDP per capita was US$516, and half of the population was illiterate.
In response, Singapore government established Economic Development Board to start an investment drive, to make Singapore an attractive destination for foreign investment and lure big companies to invest capital. As a result, FDI inflows increased greatly over the decades, Meanwhile, savings and investment rates in Singapore rose amongst the highest levels in the world.
As a result of this investment drive, Singapore’s capital stock increased 33 times by 1992, and achieved a tenfold increase in the capital-labour ratio which improved living standard of the people.
Singaporean Lookout for Trade Partners
With the Singapore economy struggling for new trade partners and bad relations with China, Singapore has been constantly looking around for other regional trade partners.
An continuous increase in bilateral trade and investment between Russia and Singapore which rose to about S$5 billion, in the meanwhile tourist visitors from Russia to Singapore also went up 10 percent, to about 70,000 arrivals in 2017.
The Singapore government analyzed Russia as a key country for Singaporean investment potential, and has been actively encouraging both Singaporean government funds and the private sector to invest in the country. Singapore is also fast tracking a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, a free trade area sitting between China and the EU that includes Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Belarus. That deal is expected to be signed off this year and will significantly enhance Singaporean trade with Russia. It will also assist Russian trade with the ASEAN nations.
Signage of Memorandum Between Singapore And Russia
Singapore’s Senior Minister for Trade & industry, Dr. Koh Poh Koon and Russian Deputy Prime minister, Maxim Akimov witnesses the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance trade between the countries and announced Singapore to become “IP hub” for innovative enterprises of Russia. MOU was signed by IPOS International (IPOS-I), the international division of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), and Russian venture capital fund and accelerator Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF). The MOU will enhance greater gains and growth opportunities between the countries.
Russian innovators will also be able to take advantage of established platforms such as ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) for expedited patent application examination and connect with over 70 markets through Singapore’s IP network and trade agreements. Russian enterprises can take benefit from Singapore’s IP management consultancy services, patent search and analytics, customised training programmes and workshops.
MOU aims to bridge the innovation ecosystems of both countries and support innovative enterprises from Russia to use Singapore as a base to access Asian growth markets.
Linking Russia and Singapore Innovation Ecosystem
Russia already has an established research culture with strong tech and science capabilities, IP filings are also growing every year in Russian jurisdiction. Singapore sees abundant opportunities to collaborate Russian businesses / enterprises for creation of innovative products and services, post which same technology can be brought to Asian market, which is now a hive for innovation activities. Notably, the number of IP applications by foreign enterprises into Russia has grown 18% since 2010, indicating a growing confidence in the market.
Singapore is a part of global trade and innovation ecosystems, with right IP connections and networks to service the flow of ideas and innovation into the region. Ultimately, Singapore will serve as an important base for Russian enterprises to bring their ideas and IP into ASEAN, Together they poised to be the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030. Asia innovation ecosystem, is growing and spending huge amounts on Research, which is S$4 out of S$10 are spent in research and development and 6 out of 10 IP applications are filed. Russian innovators can take advantage of established platforms for expedited IP applications and connect with over 70 markets through Singapore’s IP network and trade agreements.
The two Deputy Prime ministers (DPM) agreed to further push commercial partnerships in information and communications technology sector and digital economy which plays vital role for healthy relationship and development of both nations. They are open to welcome expanding of innovation, transport and logistics technologies. They also reaffirmed Singapore and Russia’s strong support for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which will deepen economic ties between the two countries as well as with other EAEU member-states. Both DPM’s agreed to cooperate with each other and identify new areas to broaden and deepen the relationship.
The DPMs noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Singapore. Russia was Singapore’s 24th largest trading partner last year, and bilateral trade stood at $7.38 billion.