Singapore's robust intellectual property regime, pro-business policies and its location as a regional hub make it an ideal destination for Swedish companies, said Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang yesterday.
Mr Lim told the inaugural Sweden-South-east Asia Business Summit: "Asean remains a region with diverse cultures and differing levels of economic development.
"Companies venturing into new markets often face challenges, such as financial risks, cultural differences, and availability of competent employees. Having a reliable partner who understands the market can help mitigate some of these risks."
He also noted that Sweden and Singapore can work together to develop innovative technologies, particularly in areas like medical technology and e-healthcare.
"Swedish companies can not only test and develop existing prototypes, but also create new technologies and solutions for the South-east Asian and wider Asian market," noted Mr Lim. "Robotics technology can enable us to work more effectively and create more value-added jobs. It is also relevant to South-east Asia as a market, given its rapid urbanisation, young working population and growing middle class."
Mr Lim, in welcoming the application of design thinking and technology, encouraged more Swedish companies to follow the lead of Swedish agency Veryday. The agency is partnering the Design Singapore Council to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.
"As part of Singapore's Design 2025 vision, we seek partnerships in design practices which can help address Smart Nation problems through a combination of technology and design thinking.
"They can be applied on a wider scale in South-east Asia to create innovative new products for specific culture and contexts."
Sweden's Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Mikael Damberg, said Sweden and Singapore can develop a winning partnership, given that they share a common interest in innovation.
He added that innovation in life sciences, and developing smart cities and efficient transportation are some of the areas in which technological advances can be made.
The summit at the Park Royal Hotel attracted 300 members of the diplomatic and business community.