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SINGAPORE: November 21, 2017. Government enterprise agency IE Singapore has signed an MoU with South Korea's Gyeonggi province to collaborate in technology start-ups, wholesale distribution and logistics.

Gyeonggi, the catchment area around Seoul, is Korea's center for high-tech companies including Hyundai, Samsung and SK Group. In 2016 its GDP was S$393 billion and international trade totaled S$271 billion.

Changi SingaporeWith over 761,000 SMEs in Gyeonggi including many producing beauty, health supplements and textile products, IE Singapore says many want to expand into Southeast Asia but don't have the necessary marketing, distribution and logistics fulfillment expertise.

The MoU enables Singapore and South Korean companies to develop partnerships in their respective countries said IE Singapore Assistant CEO Tan Soon Kim: "Beyond looking at South Korea as a market, our companies could explore partnerships with their Korean counterparts to jointly access third countries by leveraging each other's strengths in areas such as technology and distribution network," he explained.

According to Wolfgang Baier, group CEO of Singapore-based Luxasia, his company sees "huge potential" in South Korean brands: "Through IE Singapore's in-market assistance and connections, we gained the first-mover advantage to partner promising Korean brands such as Clio. We hope that IE Singapore's partnership with Gyeonggi province will open more doors for us."

Luxasia provides an omnichannel for beauty distribution, retail and e-commerce on behalf of many leading brands including Beiersdorf, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Clarins and Ferragamo. The company also has joint ventures with Coty, LVMH, PUIG Group and Elizabeth Arden.

IE Singapore said it has already helped Singpost connect with Interfashion Planning, a Korean lifestyle and fashion company, as well as eCommerce business Café 24, to provide both with logistics and marketing expertise to reach consumers in Southeast Asia.

The agency said it expects the Asia Pacific eCommerce market to be worth over S$1.6 trillion by 2022.

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