SINGAPORE, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Tuesday that the emerging market economies will remain the main contributor to global economic growth over the next 5-10 years, despite recent volatility and challenges.
He made that statement at the 8th Russia-Singapore Business Forum held here.
He said significant opportunities are arising from the rise of the middle class in the emerging world. Taking Russia as an example, more than 140 million people there is increasingly affluent and offers business potential in areas like urban solutions and lifestyle products, the deputy PM added.
According to Tharman's speech released by the city-state's Finance Ministry, the bilateral trade in goods has more than tripled over the last five years between Singapore and Russia. Meanwhile, there are now more than 400 Russian companies in Singapore, up from just over a hundred five years ago.
Apart from the economic side, Tharman said that a new area with much potential for bilateral collaboration is in the arts, culture and tourism sectors between the two countries. They have plan to open a Russian cultural centre in Singapore.
In tourism sector, Singapore had a record number of about 70, 000 Russian visitors here in 2012, a significant increase from only 12,000 visitors 10 years ago.