POST Online Media Lite Edition


Singapore cautiously optimistic about FTA with Eurasian union

Staff writer |
Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong is cautiously optimistic that a free trade agreement (FTA) between Singapore and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) can be completed in the next two years.

He is also positive about Russia's business potential, saying many opportunities exist for Singapore companies. These can be found in Moscow as the country redevelops and upgrades its capital city, transforming outdated industrial estates into modern business parks, cultural centres or education centres.

The changes, in turn, create opportunities in urban masterplanning and transport.

But to pursue them, businesses need to invest time and energy to understand the country, how its business networks are linked and government decisions made in order to fit in, Mr Lee told Singapore reporters in an interview on Friday, at the end of his four-day working visit.

In the short term, Russia faces such challenges as shrinking growth, low energy prices and the impact of Western sanctions. But in the long term, it is "the place (where) we ought to be", he said.

"Russia is a country with a long history, with deep roots and powerful science and technology capabilities, determined to be an influence in the world - somebody we can cooperate with in many areas."

Mr Lee noted that bilateral trade, though modest, has grown quite rapidly in the last decade and two-way investments have risen noticeably over the years. Both countries also cooperate in science and technology, education and culture.

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