Japan, Singapore join to promote small businesses in Southeast Asia

Kyodo

Two major Japanese banks and the Singapore government concluded a deal Monday to help small and midsize Japanese businesses operate in Southeast Asia.

The state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Spring Singapore, an agency controlled by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, agreed to promote Japan’s small and midsize businesses in the region by working together with small Singaporean businesses.

The memorandum of understanding signed Monday is meant to “promote Japanese companies’ investments in small and medium sized enterprises in Singapore and also to accelerate their joint business opportunities in Singapore and other ASEAN countries,” Hiroshi Suehiro, Mizuho’s managing executive officer, said in a statement.

“We are pleased that JBIC and MHCB have identified Singapore SMEs as potential key partners to Japanese SMEs,” Choy Sauw Kook, assistant chief executive at SPRING Singapore, said in a speech at the signing ceremony.

“There is huge potential to be unlocked in the ASEAN region, especially in emerging markets such as Myanmar,” she said.

Both sides hope the deal will bring combine the advantages of Singapore’s infrastructure, workforce and intellectual property regulations with Japan’s technological innovation capabilities.

Collaboration may take the form of co-developing innovative technologies and products, setting up joint ventures to launch new businesses into other ASEAN markets, or tapping into one another’s knowledge and networks to facilitate expansion.