Moscow and Singapore are set to sign their first programme of cooperation, covering the period 2017-2019, announced Sergey Cheryomin, Minister in the Moscow City Government and Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations (DEEIR), speaking at the opening ceremony of the Days of Moscow in Singapore.
Singapore, a city-state known throughout the world as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific market, is hosting its first Days of Moscow event. In Sanskrit, “Singapore” means “Lion City”, but since the 1990-s the country has been known as one of the Four Asian Tigers, on account of the rapid growth that has brought its economy up to the level of developed countries which is currently maintained.
“Singapore is one of the world’s most comfortable cities for living in and doing business, with fantastic technology that has been successfully incorporated into the city’s economy,” said Mr Cheryomin. “The local administration has interesting urban solutions, an intelligently designed transport system, and excellent healthcare and education systems.... But we also have something to be proud of,” said the Minister. According to Mr Cheryomin,this is the reason why the ambitious objective set by Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin of making the Russian capital the best city in the world to live in is very similar to what the Singapore authorities have done and are doing for their citizens. “And in this we are very similar,” he emphasised.
Importantly, Moscow, with its modern, advanced transport infrastructure, its high quality of healthcare and education, and its vibrant cultural life, is attractive to Singapore, said Mr Cheryomin at a meeting with Dr KohPoh Koon, Singapore Minister of State, Ministry of National Development & Ministry of Trade and Industry. On the other hand, the authorities in both cities believe that there is potential for much greater economic cooperation between them.
During the talks, the parties discussed moving to payments in rubles and Singapore dollars in the near future. At present, all payments between Moscow and Singapore are made in US dollars. Mr Cheryomin and Dr Koh agree that the huge transaction costs on the conversion services do nothing to encourage cooperation.
Negotiations on this topic will continue.