Singapore Boosts Information Technology Cooperation with South Korea

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

SINGAPORE – Small and medium sized information technology (IT) companies in South Korea and Singapore can look forward to more opportunities for cooperation and growth as the two countries inked a Memorandum of Understanding  (MoU) on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) collaboration last Friday.

In conjunction with the MoU, South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning launched the Korea IT Cooperation Center in Singapore to support the expansion of Korean tech start-ups and SMEs into the ASEAN market.

“Singapore and the Republic of Korea share a vision of developing knowledge-based creative economies, and using technology to enhance the quality of citizens’ lives,” said Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

Singapore was selected as the Center’s Southeast Asian hub due to its mature start-up ecosystem and strong pool of ICT talents, said Park Sooyong, President of the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) in South Korea.

The signing of the MOU will open up more opportunities for partnerships between the two countries’ infocomm industries and give tech startups from both countries direct access to each other’s markets, according to the press statement.

RELATED: Singapore Announces Initiatives to Encourage Tech Startups

Singapore and South Korea have been long time trade partners, with the South Korea-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed in 2005 and operating since 2006. Singapore was the first Asian country to sign an FTA with Korea.

The agreement comes at a time when Korean tech startups have been growing rapidly and are seeking to scale their businesses regionally, Park added. Companies such as Rakuten Ventures and Formation 8, with products covering e-commerce, mobile commerce, cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things (IOT), are seeking to secure funding for expansion into the Southeast Asian market.

“We are encouraged that the Republic of Korea sees Singapore as a good launchpad for Korean tech startups to make inroads into the large and growing Southeast Asian markets, “ Poh said.

Under the MoU, the two countries will also be cooperating in the areas of ICT policies, manpower development and the exchange of thought leadership through seminars and workshops.

Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email or visit

Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.

Related Reading

The Gateway to ASEAN: Doing Business in Singapore 2014 (Second Edition)
Dezan Shira & Associates’ Singapore business guide will provide readers with an overview of the fundamentals of investing and conducting business in Singapore. The 2014 edition explains the basics of company establishment, annual compliance, taxation, human resources, payroll and social insurance in the city-state, in addition to how a company established there can be used to conduct business in the wider ASEAN and Southeast Asian region.

The Gateway to ASEAN: Singapore Holding Companies
In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we highlight and explore Singapore’s position as a holding company location for outbound investment, most notably for companies seeking to enter ASEAN and other emerging markets in Asia. We explore the numerous FTAs, DTAs and tax incentive programs that make Singapore the preeminent destination for holding companies in Southeast Asia, in addition to the requirements and procedures foreign investors must follow to establish and incorporate a holding company.