The Russia-Singapore Business Forum


The Russia-Singapore Business Forum has confirmed its position as the only two-way gateway for Russia/CIS and Singapore/Asia businesses in the South-East Asia

The Russia-Singapore Business Forum was initiated eight years ago as a unique business-to-business platform that links the Russian political and business elite with Singapore. The Forum held in September this year and attended by some 750 delegates, confirmed that RSBF is Asia’s only leading business and networking platform where Russian/CIS businessmen meet with their colleagues from Asia.

Beside the scale, one of the main features of the forum was the high level of its participants, including ministers and heads of governmental agencies, owners and presidents of the largest national and international corporations. The importance of the forum both to Russia and Singapore was emphasised by the fact that Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam chose RSBF as a platform to announce the government’s plans to ease visa requirements for Russian citizens.

Other dignitaries and top businessmen who spoke at the forum included Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan; Hanspeter Brunner, CEO, BSI Bank Asia and Thomas Zilliacus, Executive Chairman & CEO, Youzoo Corporation.

Selection_033RSBF 2013 was unique in many ways. Firstly, a new session was held which focused on ASEAN as a new emerging markets region. Weak growth in the developed countries, especially Europe, and an anticipated slowdown in China, are driving businesses to look at the rising opportunities in the fast developing markets of ASEAN. At the same time, ASEAN, with approximately 600 million people, is also striving to be a single integrated market by 2015, significantly boosting its competitiveness as a region and its attractiveness to investors. The participants of RSBF explored the unique challenges in tapping the ASEAN potential.

Another new introduction to RSBF 2013 was the first-of-its-kind ‘Innovation/Technology Roundtable’. Its goal was to thrust novel technology ideas by the smartest start-ups to the Roundtable of business elites and experts who are in a position to transform these further into successful partnerships and bring the ideas to market.

A third interesting segment of the RSBF 2013 was another dimension so often overlooked, namely, Russian entrepreneurs making headway in the IT world. Among the panellists were such well known Russian entrepreneurs as Serguei BELOUSSOV, CEO & Co-founder, Acronis and Senior Partner, Runa Capital; George GENS, President, LANIT Group, Oleg TINKOV Chairman of the Board, Tinkoff Credit Systems.

Commenting on RSBF 2013, Mr Michael Tay, Executive Director of RSBF and former Singapore Ambassador to Russia said, “True to this year’s theme of Connecting Markets, Linking Businesses, RSBF 2013 set a tone different from past forums. In the past, we had tried to reset the image of the Russian/CIS economic potential to Asian and foreign businessmen, and vice versa. RSBF 2013 showed that we had moved to a fundamentally different level of business-making. There was a palpable sense of energy among businessmen to get the business going, to get deals made. One clear direction was greater collaboration in technology and innovation. Another was to explore and link up with new emerging and fast developing markets in Asia.”

“Looking ahead, the DNA of RSBF must continue to be business-driven, constantly evolving and reinventing itself as a true platform for connecting businesses and markets,” he said.

About Russia-Singapore Business Forum

The Russia-Singapore Business Forum (RSBF), initiated in 2006, is an annual B-to-B forum that takes place in Singapore. The RSBF Organising Council is led by Executive Director, Mr. Michael Tay, former Singapore Ambassador to Russia, and resides within the Singapore Business Federation. The RSBF’s Strategic Partner is Sberbank, the largest bank in Eastern Europe. The RSBF has the support of key Singapore Government agencies, particularly the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

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