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More opportunities in Russia for Singapore start-ups as Moscow added to cities under Global Innovation Alliance

More opportunities in Russia for Singapore start-ups as Moscow added to cities under Global Innovation Alliance

People visit Zaryadye Park in front of St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower in downtown Moscow on Jul 30, 2020. (File photo: AFP/Yuri Kadobnov)

SINGAPORE: Singapore start-ups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will have more support in accessing the Russian market after Moscow was added to the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said on Tuesday (Nov 9).

Russian start-ups and SMEs, meanwhile, will be able to use Singapore as a springboard to explore opportunities in Southeast Asia.

The expansion of the GIA, a programme aimed at developing cross-border partnerships, was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong in a keynote address during the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology.

Mr Edwin Chow, assistant CEO for innovation and enterprise at ESG, said: “With the addition of Moscow to our GIA network, Singapore start-ups and SMEs will be able to secure innovation and business partners as they expand into Russia and beyond.

“We also welcome Russian and other global start-ups to leverage Singapore as a base through this programme to explore markets in Southeast Asia.”

ESG said that Singapore companies have shown increased interest in business opportunities in Russia.

“In 2020, over 30 Singapore companies participated in Russia-related corporate innovation calls and business matching events organised by ESG and our partners,” the agency said.

Russia’s start-up ecosystem has seen steady growth, with the total value of investments growing from US$768 million in 2018 to US$868 million in 2019, ESG added.

ESG said that it plans to launch “two-way acceleration programmes” in collaboration with an appointed GIA partner, with more details to be announced at a later date.

“The programmes will help Singapore-based companies across different tech sectors build a stronger understanding of the Russian business regulations and culture, meet potential partners and access the market; as well as work with foreign companies to anchor their operations in Singapore and forge new partnerships in Southeast Asia,” ESG said.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, GIA acceleration programmes have seen more than 300 participants since 2020, according to ESG.

With the addition of Moscow to the GIA, there are now 16 cities around the world in the network. Other GIA cities include Bangalore, Jakarta, London, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Source: CNA/kg(ac)

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