Russia and S'pore ties in business 'growing'

Progress cited at high-level meeting in Moscow co-chaired by DPM Tharman

Commercial links between Singapore and Russia are growing, with firms in sectors ranging from air services to marine and food developing stronger ties.

This progress was noted yesterday following the sixth session of the High-Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), which was held in Moscow on Tuesday.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, chaired the event together with Mr Igor Shuvalov, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

Both countries also agreed to start negotiations of a comprehensive free trade agreement between Singapore and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)... The EAEU offers Singapore a combined market of 180 million people and a total gross domestic product of US$4.2 trillion (S$6 trillion).

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement listed several instances in which business links were growing. It noted that Changi Airports International is finalising the terms of agreement for it to develop and manage Vladivostok International Airport, a move that is seen as vital to plans to redevelop Russia's far east.

There is also strong interest among Singapore's offshore and marine companies about opportunities in Russia, while food production companies in both countries are seeking to increase cross-border exports.

ST Electronics is developing transport solutions for certain Russian cities involving sensor and simulation technologies. It is also collaborating with a Russian security services provider to manufacture and jointly promote an ST Electronics product in Russia.

The MFA statement also noted that Singapore's Tanstarr Group signed a cooperation agreement with Lukoil at the sixth session of the high-level Russia-Singapore IGC for the future supply of petroleum products, while Pavilion Energy has signed a 10-year agreement with Gazprom for supply of liquefied natural gas.

Both countries also agreed to start the process to negotiate for a comprehensive free trade agreement between Singapore and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the statement said.

This deal will lay the groundwork for companies of both countries to expand their operations into each other's regions. The EAEU offers Singapore a combined market of 180 million people and a total gross domestic product of US$4.2 trillion (S$6 trillion).

Both nations will also promote the use of Singapore's commercial dispute resolution services and training of civil servants.

Mr Tharman welcomed Russia's interest in using Singapore's commercial dispute resolution services, the statement said.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story said that Tanstarr Group was entering into long-term contracts with PJSC Lukoil for supply of jet fuel. We are sorry for the error. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2015, with the headline 'Russia and S'pore ties in business 'growing''. Print Edition | Subscribe