SM Tharman Shanmugaratnam and DPM Maxim Akimov exchanging the signed Joint Statement of the 10th Session of the IGC in Vladivostok, Russia, 6th September 2019. (Source: Singapore MFA)

Senior Minister Tharman co-chaired High-Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission and was a speaker at the Eastern Economic Forum

SENIOR Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam visited Vladivostok, Russia from 4th to 6th September 2019. Senior Minister Tharman co-chaired the 10th Session of the High-Level Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC10) with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Maxim Akimov on 6th September 2019.

In conjunction with IGC10, Senior Minister Tharman also attended the Fifth Eastern Economic Forum on 5th September 2019 where he spoke on the “Digital State: New Business Models Brought by Total Digitalisation” on a panel with Deputy Prime Minister Akimov and other prominent government and business leaders.

IGC Agreements Signed
The IGC is an annual high-level dialogue aimed at strengthening broad-based cooperation between Russia and Singapore. This year, the IGC will build on the momentum in economic relations in recent years, and explore opportunities in areas such as innovation, urban transport management and vocational training. SM Tharman and DPM Akimov also took stock of the progress made since the 9th Session of the IGC in 2018. They welcomed the growing cooperation across all sectors, including in the area of digital development, skills training, start-ups and innovation. They witnessed the signing of six agreements which include:

+ Roadmap between Singapore Cooperation Enterprise and the St Petersburg Government to signal the continued commitment of both Singapore and Russian stakeholders to the speedy implementation of the Urban Transport Management System (UTMS) project in St Petersburg City.

Agreement between Enterprise Singapore and Sistema Asia, Mobile TeleSystems and Skolkovo Foundation to cooperate in innovation, technology transfer, business outreach and start-up ecosystem development.

Memorandum of cooperation between Autonomous Non-Commercial Organisation “Far East Investment and Export Agency” and CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd to explore collaboration in digital solutions to facilitate government services, trade and business climate facilitation.

+ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ITE Education Services (ITEES) and the Russia-Singapore Business Council to develop a programme for technical education based on Singapore’s experiences.

+ MOU between Sport and Fashion Management (Sportmaster’s Singapore Office), the Internet Initiative Development Fund and Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to collaborate on tech development and digital cross-platform products.

+ MOU between Sportmaster and NUS Centre for Healthy Ageing, to collaborate on research on clothing materials to support healthy ageing.

SM Tharman and DPM Akimov reaffirmed the multifaceted and growing ties between Singapore and Russia. They underscored the important role that the IGC has played in strengthening bilateral cooperation over the decade since its establishment in 2010. In addition to promoting bilateral trade and investments, the IGC has catalysed greater cooperation in a wider range of sectors, including transport, infrastructure, agriculture, training and education, culture, and legal cooperation. They also encouraged both sides to continue their collaborations and to explore further opportunities in the Russian Far East.

Both SM Tharman and DPM Akimov signed the Joint Statement (attached) upon the conclusion of the IGC, and looked forward to the 11th Session of the IGC in Singapore in 2020.