Singapore trade chamber SICCI and state-supported B2B e-commerce platforms group Proxtera will raise funds and expand into the South Asian and African markets as part of creating trading networks, riding on the city-state's free trade agreements.
"As a start-up, Proxtera will work with SICCI to raise funds and expand into the South Asian and African markets," T Chandroo, chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), said on Friday.
With SICCI's collaboration, it hopes to create one of the largest trading networks riding on Singapore's FTA arrangements, he said.
Chandroo added that for trade associations, Proxtera works to leverage digitalisation of associate members through quick onboarding and enhanced connectivity.
Asia in 2019 accounted for 23 per cent of capital flows, compared with 13 per cent 10 years ago, and in 2019 accounted for 16 per cent of global cross-border flows of data, up from 10 per cent previously, he said.
Emerging economies are counterparts on more than half of global trade flows, and south-south trade is the fastest-growing type of connection, he noted.
SICCI and Proxtera, an aggregator of trading platforms, on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work on international markets.
"Working together, I know that we will enhance both our organisations and develop substantial ties in the long run," said Chandroo.
He added that this is even more important now as the world is ravaged by COVID-19 and businesses must rethink their avenues of cooperation and growth. "Our partnership will be instrumental in guiding (Singapore) entrepreneurs connect to a larger trading ecosystem and to reap the benefits of the network."
SICCI is planning to become a gateway of opportunity for those exploring digital trade and financing services. It has recently established an international business division to serve the internationalisation of trade, finance and investment needs of Singapore companies.
"We have a dedicated committee on international and bilateral trade relations that establishes linkages with overseas institutions and organises B2B interactions," he added.
SICCI has always looked to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs and help businesses to become innovative, said Chandroo. He added that the two partners will establish a mutually beneficial platform to connect members of business organisations, advance economic growth, and create opportunities for expansion.
Singapore, he said, has signed the Digital Economy Partnership Agreements (DEPA) with several countries such as Chile, New Zealand and Australia that were among the first to do so.
This will accelerate engaging more partners across the world, he said.
Further, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has made a joint statement on the Financial Services Data Connectivity with the US Department of the Treasury to work with international community to develop standards to support trust and security for cross-border flows of financial data.
Singapore's investment in fintech is another strategic advantage. Singapore is investing into five key verticals of the digital financial services industry — payments, remittance, lending, insurance and investments — which will put them ahead of many other countries, Chandroo added.