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Spring inks MOU with two Japanese banks


SPRING Singapore has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Mizuho Corporate Bank (MHCB) to jointly promote business collaboration between Japanese and Singaporean SMEs.

With this MOU, the three companies will be contributing to overseas business deployment and creation of business opportunities for both Japanese and Singapore SMEs, by leveraging on each company's network and knowledge of the Asean region.

Talks on the MOU began in March this year.

"There is huge potential to be unlocked in the Asean region, especially in emerging markets such as Myanmar and Indonesia, and companies need to move quickly to capture market share," said Spring assistant chief executive Choy Sauw Kook.

MHCB general manager, Singapore corporate banking division, Toshiya Wakaume said that Japanese companies, including SMEs, have been increasingly investing in Thailand, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.

On March 1, MHCB and JBIC, wholly-owned by the Japanese government, set up the Mizuho Asean Private Equity Fund to support business deployment of Japanese companies, including SMEs, into the Asean nations.

The size of the fund stands at US$150 million, US$50 million short of its US$200 million target.

MHCB managing executive officer, head of Asia & Oceania, Hiroshi Suehiro said that the alliance enhances competitiveness and makes it possible to expand to neighbouring Asean regions.

"Taking this opportunity of equity participation of MHCB and JBIC in the fund and having a close relationship with Spring, we can come up with valuable strategic alliance opportunities between Singapore SMEs and Japanese companies," Mr Suehiro said.

JBIC managing executive officer and global head of industry finance group Kazuo Yuhara said: "The purpose is not only to support the business development of the companies, but also to provide the vast technologies of Japanese companies through the joint venture."