Japan, Singapore Agree to Support Startups from SEA Nations

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Japan Singapore Economic Dialogue on-15-Feb. ( Photo: courtesy of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry).

Japan and Singapore have decided to strengthen their cooperation to support startups in SEA nations as Tokyo seeks more partnerships with companies in the region.

With this fast-track initiative, large companies from Japan and Singapore will identify challenges and solicit business proposals from startups, and four Japanese firms, including Itochu and Panasonic, will participate in the first pitch session, according to Nikkei Asia.

Tokyo plans to cover fast-growing ASEAN economies like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam through this initiative.

Japanese companies participating in this initiative are on the lookout for local partners in South East Asia that could serve as promising markets for Japanese products and services.

Medical care is one of the areas of cooperation, as Panasonic seeks startups to enhance the quality of life for the elderly.

Discussing how this initiative could benefit Laos, Ms. Nana Souananavong, Founder of TOHLAO and Executive Vice President of Lao ICT Commerce Association (Startup Chapter) said, “This will be a great wake-up call for Laos and it will be one of the most significant milestones for putting Laos on the Startup map. Investors would be able to explore Laos as another connecting market in the region.”

She stated that opportunities like this will encourage the startup community in the region to work together in solving bigger problems, address pain points in the region more strategically, and create real collaboration which would deliver a better outcome.