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Law and Values As Drivers of Socio-Economic Development in Singapore

Experts of the IX St. Petersburg International Legal Forum referred to Singapore showing how the rule of law can ensure economic and social development of a country.

The discussion was moderated by Andrey Gorlenko, Executive Administrator of the Russian Arbitration Center at the Russian Institute of Modern Arbitration. The discussion was attended by Mikhail Galperin, Representative of the Russian Federation in the European Court of Human Rights - Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, and Chun Fai Edwin Charles Tong, Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Law & Ministry of Health, Singapore.

In his welcoming address Mikhail Galperin noted that Singapore’s economy is currently one of the leading and most rapidly developing economies in the globe. ‘We see that Singapore’s success is largely rooted in its own jurisdiction, law enforcement, system of courts, as well as legal system. All that together is crucial for the investment climate’, he added.

In the beginning of his speech Chun Fai Edwin Charles Tong, Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Law & Ministry of Health, Singapore, referred to Russia – Singapore partnership. According to the speaker, in the last 10 years the bilateral trade between Russia and Singapore has increased four times. Today close to 700 Russian companies are present in Singapore, including LUKOIL, GAZPROM, and VTB CAPITAL. The minister referred to economic, as well as cultural dimensions in partnerships between the countries. ‘In 2018 the Russian Cultural Center was founded in Singapore. The center is going to promote cultural exchange, which is ultimately very important. Deeper ties between governments, institutions, or companies, as well as between citizens and people alike are much needed to promote understanding and mutual exchange of cultures,’ he added. According to the minister, this would enhance relations between legal communities as well. ‘Students in Singapore are interested in Russia. In 2017 one of Singapore’s largest universities started a Russian language center,’ he concluded.

Chun Fai Edwin Charles Tong highlighted that Singapore is highly attractive for businesses. ‘It will take one day only to start a company in Singapore and fill in all the required documents. All you need is to appoint a local director; moreover, there is no need to have more than one shareholder,’ he explained.

Singapore representative also told about the Economic Arbitration Center. ‘Our center emerged 20 years ago. Initially, it used to deal with predominantly internal disputes only. Today it has turned into an international arbitration center, a largest one in the world. Last year 400 plus arbitration cases were considered,’ he elaborated.

The discussion moderator Andrey Gorlenko underscored that Singapore’s positive experience is the result of management principles implemented in the country. ‘Your success is the result of governance models, implemented in Singapore,’ he said.

To adjourn the discussion, participants expressed their hope for future cooperation between the two countries.

St. Petersburg Legal Forum takes place 14 to 18 May, 2019 in the Eastern wing of the General Staff Building, State Hermitage. SPBILF is supported by the Russian Federation President and organized by the Ministry of Justice of Russian Federation.