Singapore, Colombia sign MOU to boost trade, energy and tech collaboration

Companies will also collaborate on trade, infrastructure - in smart city and smart governance - and energy. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Businesses in Singapore and Colombia will have more opportunities to collaborate in areas such as technology and innovation, with a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) inked between the two countries.

The partnership is the first bilateral MOU between Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and ProColombia, a government agency that promotes the South American country's export of goods and services, foreign direct investment and tourism.

ESG and ProColombia will work together to facilitate partnerships between Singapore and Colombian companies, in key areas of tech and innovation such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and digital industries.

Companies will also collaborate on trade, infrastructure - in smart city and smart governance - and energy, said ESG on Tuesday (Jan 25).

Colombia is Latin America's fourth largest economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$683.9 billion (S$920 billion). It is expected to grow 5.5 per cent this year.

The country was Singapore's sixth largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean last year, with total trade in goods amounting to $327 million - a 17 per cent increase from 2020.

The partnership was signed by ESG's global markets director Clarence Hoe and ProColombia president Flavia Santoro in Bogota, Colombia, ahead of the formal signing of the Pacific Alliance-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

Ms Santoro said the Colombian government has a special interest in strengthening trade and investment ties with Singapore, a key partner for its expansion to the Asia-Pacific region.

She noted Singapore's regional leadership and strengths in areas such as urban and airport infrastructure and logistics.

"This MOU will allow us to have more information and understanding between the parties to benefit bilateral trade and attract investments in our market," she added.

ESG assistant chief executive Tan Soon Kim noted: "The consumer, trade and infrastructure sectors are important growth drivers of the Colombian economy. The country is also making inroads into technology and innovation.

"With Colombia also a part of the Pacific Alliance, this MOU will facilitate Singapore companies with aspirations to diversify to Latin America."

Singapore companies that have expanded into Colombia include agri-food giant Olam International and tech solutions company CrimsonLogic.

Olam International is among the top five coffee exporters in Colombia, with seven warehousing and three processing facilities there.

Meanwhile, CrimsonLogic was commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank to develop a solution that allows the Pacific Alliance countries - Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru - to exchange, validate and mutually accept data to increase the efficiency and transparency of foreign trade in the region.

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