Singapore delegation seeks to boost business links with major Russian cities

SINGAPORE - A delegation of Singapore officials and business representatives was in Russia last week to boost economic cooperation between the two countries.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Lee Yi Shyan led the delegation, which visited the three largest cities in the vast nation from June 16 to 20.

During the visit, Mr Lee met the Governor of St Petersburg, Mr Georgy Poltavchenko, and signed an agreement to continue expanding cooperation between Singapore and the Russian city in sectors such as transport, science parks, urban planning, e-government and training programmes.

Mr Lee and St Petersburg Vice-Governor Oleg Markov also co-chaired a working group meeting in St Petersburg.

A business forum was also held at the sidelines of the meeting, where companies from Russia and Singapore had an opportunity to network.

In Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city after Moscow and St Petersburg, Mr Lee visited several educational and research institutes, including the Novosibirsk State University and the Institute for Semi-conductor Physics.

He met Acting Governor Vladimir Gorodetsky, senior representatives of the Russian Academy of Science and representatives of the business community in Novosibirsk.

Mr Lee also suggested the possibility of having a direct flight between Singapore and Novosibirsk.

In Moscow, Mr Lee met with Moscow's Minister and Head of External Economic and International Relations Sergei Cheremin.

During the meeting, Mr Lee witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and the Department for External Economic and International Relations.

This aims to enhance relations between Singapore and Moscow through cooperation in areas such as public transport and road infrastructure, urban planning and development, culture, tourism and sports.

Mr Lee also met the First Deputy Minister for Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Osipov, where both sides talked about the opportunities available for Singapore companies in the Russian Far East regions such as Primorsky, Amur and Khabarovsk.

Russian regions and cities are keen to emulate Singapore's developmental experience and economic achievements, said Mr Lee.