SINGAPORE - An agreement signed on Tuesday (Nov 21) aims to boost partnerships in technology start-ups and logistics between Singaporean and South Korean firms.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was inked between IE Singapore and the Korean province Gyeonggi, host to many world-class companies like Hyundai and Samsung.
IE Singapore and the Gyeonggi provincial government will organise business missions and matching and facilitate Singapore and Gyeonggi-based companies to partner in the three areas.
The MOU will help Singapore technology start-ups enter Gyeonggi and access its ecosystem, which includes co-working spaces, incubators and in-market immersion programmes.
This in turn will help Singapore companies gain deeper understanding into South Korea's technology, as well as meet potential partners, said IE Singapore, the government agency responsible for helping local companies go global.
It added that wholesale trade companies can collaborate with South Korean ones to jointly distribute their consumer products in the region.
Gyeonggi is the most populous province in Korea with 12.5 million people. It GDP of S$393 billion and S$271 billion worth of international trade in 2016 was the highest of all South Korean provinces.
More than 761,000 small and medium-sized enterprises call Gyeonggi home, including those in the beauty, health supplements and textile industries. Many are looking at overseas expansion, focusing in particular on the growing South-east Asia consumer market.
Mr Tan Soon Kim, IE Singapore's assistant chief executive, said Singapore companies could explore partnerships with South Korean firms to access other countries by "leveraging each other's strengths in areas such as technology and distribution network".
The number of Korean start-ups has grown significantly since the introduction of the country's "Creative Economy" initiatives in 2013. The number of investments in Korean start-ups increased by 49 per cent from 2015 to 2016 while the investment size increased by 23 per cent, with most firms dealing in information and communications technology services, e-commerce and healthcare.
IE Singapore expects the Asia Pacific e-commerce market to grow to more than S$1.6 trillion by 2022 as demand grows for more cross-border fulfillment services.