Singapore, South Korea sign SME and startup partnership during Moon Jae-in visit

Kevin McSpadden
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When the South Korean President visited Singapore, Enterprise Singapore inked MOUs with Korean government agencies

For Startups and SMEs in South Korea and Singapore looking to broaden their horizon, new partnerships signed between the two nations’ governments will help facilitate cross-border business opportunities.

Enterprise Singapore, the government agency that helps local companies internationalise, signed one MOU with Korean Ministry of SMEs & Startups (MSS) and another MOU with the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). The partnerships will expand co-innovation opportunities, facilitate investment and promote expansion.

The MOUs were witnessed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who was visiting the nation-state for a diplomatic dialogue.

More specifically, the MOU signed with MSS will establish a ‘landing pad’ in Singapore to help point Korean companies in the right direction when they are trying to establish a foothold in the city. It will be run by Enterprise Singapore and is expected to open by the end of 2018.

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As for KOTRA, the agency plans on be a “one-stop one-stop agency to provide information and facilitation to
promote Singapore companies’ investments and expansion of operations into South Korea”. The partnership will also promote third-country partnerships beyond Singapore or South Korea.

Enterprise plans to organise a business trip to South Korea before the end of the year to pursue Smart City opportunities.

“Singapore-South Korea economic relations have been growing steadily over the years. It is important for us to build stronger ties by catalysing a greater exchange of ideas, technology and investment flows that companies from both countries can leverage as they grow and globalise their businesses,” said Png Cheong Boon, the Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore in a statement.

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Overall, South Korea is Singapore’s ninth largest trading partner and in 2017 accounted for S$45.4 billion (US$33.3 million), a 4.3 per cent increase year-on-year.

Singapore is South Korea’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN after Vietnam.

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