Singapore’s technology startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will gain access to Vietnam’s market following the expansion of the Global Innovation Alliance network to Ho Chi Minh City, an announcement by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) revealed.

ESG, venture fund Quest Ventures and Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to boost collaborations between Singapore startups and SMEs, and their counterparts in Vietnam. Under the MOU, the three partners will organise curated programmes to introduce Singapore startups to the innovation ecosystem in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as connect them to partners, investors and customers in Vietnam, SBR has reported.

“This will help Singapore startups set up, test-bed and commercialise their solutions, as well as form business partnerships in HCMC and Vietnam. It will also support Vietnamese startups to set up in Singapore,” ESG said.

Targeted to commence in September 2019, the first cohort of the programme will involve up to ten Singapore startups, with another two runs of the programme expected to take place over the next twelve months.

Meanwhile, as part of the GIA, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) signed six MOUs with Vietnamese startups and Quest Ventures. Under the MOU, NP aims to send 100 students over the next two years through its Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme to undertake internships with their MOU partners, and expose them to the vibrant innovation ecosystem and business scene in Vietnam. To support this initiative, NP will also be setting up its first GIA office in Ho Chi Minh City in August, SBR has reported.

Another partnership sealed was the MOU signed between Singapore company Finaxar and Vietnam’s Indovina Bank to improve access to financing for SMEs in Vietnam using a first-in-region, fully online and automated credit financing solution specifically tailored for them. SMEs will be able to access working capital, choosing when and how much financing they need, all online through this partnership, ESG has explained.

With Ho Chi Minh City, the GIA network now has connections to 11 cities globally comprising Bangkok in Thailand, Beijing, Suzhou and Shanghai in China, Berlin and Munich in Germany, Jakarta in Indonesia, Paris in France, Tokyo in Japan and San Francisco in the US.