As Chair of this year’s 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Singapore is forging partnerships and creating a resilient and innovation-driven economic region. 

“We will continue to focus on an agenda aimed at fostering ASEAN unity and centrality through the theme ‘resilience’ and enhancing regional economic integration through ‘innovation,’” said Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary, Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

“Japan and Singapore have over the years established cooperative ties in various fields, including the economic, business, political, security and cultural fields. We very much would like to accelerate the pace of economic development in both countries through regional economic partnerships such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as well as through Japan-Singapore joint business endeavors in third countries. Respecting the centrality and integrity of ASEAN, Japan would like to cooperate with ASEAN under the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP),” said Ambassador Jun Yamazaki, the newly appointed Ambassador of Japan in Singapore. 

The ASEAN region is expected to become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030. With young working-populations, growing middle-classes and rapid urbanization, the ten ASEAN member countries contribute significantly to global economic growth.

While the manufacturing, electronic, chemical and automotive sectors have traditionally been driven by Japanese investment, dynamic growth sectors are presenting new opportunities for Japanese investors. 

In recent years, government initiatives have helped to establish Singapore as a regional hub for startup businesses and small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). 

As companies involved in artificial intelligence, Robotics and the “Internet of Things” aim to go global, the Japan External Trade Organization Singapore (JETRO Singapore) is helping Singaporean and international companies stationed in Singapore to enter the Japanese market while encouraging Japanese startups and SME’s to set up in Singapore and expand into nearby countries.

“We work closely with the Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore, both Singaporean government agencies to support enterprise development, bring together companies stationed in Singapore and Japan to establish partnerships and facilitate collaboration.” said Junko Ishii, managing director of JETRO Singapore. 

“Our initiative to enhance promising Japanese startups, ‘J-Startups’, and make early-stage Japanese companies connect with Singapore’s thriving business community, we utilize our office as ‘Global Acceleration Hub’. We encourage connectivity and Singapore is well-positioned to act as a springboard for companies as they reach out to dynamic ASEAN economies.”