Bridges: What is JETRO Singapore doing to strengthen the Japan – Singapore relationship in 2023/2024?
Hisatomi: We support Japanese startups to enter the Singapore market, to find investors, and to network with other startups through our “Global Acceleration Hub (GAH)” program. Meanwhile “J-Bridge” focuses on business matching between Japanese companies and Singaporean startups. We continue to support Singaporean companies’ venture into the Japan market under the Invest Japan support program and Singapore government agencies are important partners for us.
With the Singapore: ASEAN Report being published on ASEAN Day (August 8th), what are your thoughts on Singapore’s increasingly important role within the region?
The ASEAN region is a diverse mix of highly competitive manufacturing centres, growing consumer markets, and an innovation hub. As a hub for innovation and R&D, Singapore is contributing to the economic development of the ASEAN region. I look forward to the continuation of policies that welcome foreign companies contributing to Singapore’s development in the future.
What events is JETRO Singapore holding in 2023 to facilitate more business between Japan and Singapore?
We will provide information on the business environment to Japanese and Singaporean companies, and support business matchings between them. Some major events are in plan for the fall: we will be introducing Japanese tech businesses at the SWITCH (Singapore Week of Information and Technology) in October. In November, we are also planning to hold a symposium to inform Singaporean investors of the Japanese latest financial market and business environment.
What message would you like to share with our readers as Singapore looks to celebrate its National Day tomorrow (August 9th)?
Singapore celebrates its 58 years of independence. It has rapidly become an economically advanced country. In the future, there will be an ever-increasing need not only for economic prosperity, but also for art, culture, leisure, and other activities. These non-economic factors, at the same time, will be essential for Singapore to continue to attract foreigners and foreign direct investment. In addition, similar to Japan, Singapore also faces prominent social issues such as low birth rate, ageing population, and adult diseases. We would like to work with Singapore in taking on these challenges through business cooperation.