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Lee Kuan Yew Shares Insights On Singapore’s Success in Attracting Investments

Singapore’s Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew shared the some elements on the country’s success in attracting investments during the recently conducted 7th Russia-Singapore Business Forum.

Mr Lee said that the key to attracting investments is to ensure the safety and security of those who migrate to Singapore to work and stay in the country with their families. He asked what Russia can also offer to attract more investments in their country.

“You must have the least bureaucracy to prevent them from carrying on their business. An investor who comes in, it is our duty to help him succeed. When he succeeds, his friends will know about it and they will also come in,” Mr Lee said.

“Today, we have more multi-nationals in Singapore, in manufacturing and R&D, services, in any field you like. We make the place liveable, safe for foreigners and their children. Therefore (making it) easy for them to settle here and do business. If you do the same in Russia, you will succeed,” Mr Lee added.

Mr Lee also discussed  admitting foreigners in the country, in the light of the issues on Singapore’s long-term population and the manpower challenges.

“We are short of workers today. We have 5.2 million people of whom 1.5 million are foreign workers. We need more. Although they are coming in at a slower pace, they are coming in,” said PM Lee.

The Russia-Singapore Business Forum 2012 is an annual forum which sets to reaffirm the relations and growth potentials for businesses between the two countries. The forum is organised by Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and was launched in 2006 to foster business and networking partnerships.

Russia was Singapore’s 29th largest trading partner in 2011. Total trade amounted to US$ 4.7 billion. Currently there are more than 330 Russian companies in Russia, compared to only 14 in 2004. The Russian-speaking population has grown from 300 in 2003 to about 5,000 people so far. Singapore was visited by more than 38,000 Russians in the first six months of 2012, which is around 20% more than that over the same period last year.