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103 Meridian East » Diplomacy »  Sergey Mironov on Singapore's Experiences That Russian Should Adopt
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Mr. Mironov at the APPF meeting

Yellow Square: Everything Ingenious is Simple.

Sergey Mironov on Singapore’s Experiences That Russia Should Adopt

Russian-Singaporean relations are strengthening at the highest levels. The official visit of Dmitry Medvedev took place within the framework of the APEC Leaders Week held last November. Just over two months later, the parliamentary delegation headed by the Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Sergey ironov, participated in the 18th annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF).

H.E. Mr. Mironov opened the first plenary session by outlining Russia’s inclination towards cooperation in the politics and security of the Asia-Pacific region and highlighting that “even to solve the urgent matters like overcoming the financial and economic crisis, we need to rely on consensus in political and security-related matters”.

Along with attending the APPF, H.E. Mr. Mironov conducted a number of bilateral meetings with Singaporean political leaders. The Speaker of the Russian Parliament answered 103rd Meridian East’s question about the significance of these meetings:

“The Inter-Governmental Commission headed by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Sobyanin and Singapore’s Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong will commence operations in 2010. The Commission will enable both countries to settle a number of practical questions, especially concerning the Singapore-Russia avoidance of double taxation agreement, which came into effect on 1 January, 2010. This will favour industries such as high technologies, energy, Russian Far East infrastructure and logistics, as well as science, culture and tourism. Last year, about 60,000 Russian tourists visited Singapore, proving this to be the place in which to have a vacation, take a swim or see lots of interesting things. No wonder, as Singapore is the hub of Asia-Pacific, the crossroads between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

“We are used to discussing serious questions but the Muscovites, for example, will appreciate the way Singapore fights traffic. Everything ingenious is simple. First of all, you would never spot any stray cars left on the street, for parking lots and underground garages are everywhere. Secondly, when entering the main road in Moscow, we have to hope for the kindness and consideration of fellow drivers. Singaporeans enforce the rule of the ‘yellow square’, painted on all road-merging points. Cars waiting at traffic lights are not allowed to stop inside this yellow square, thus allowing other drivers to enter the main road from side roads. This idea would be very useful for Moscow, St. Petersburg or other large Russian cities.”

During his official visit, H.E. Mr. Mironov had meetings with the President of Singapore, the Head of the Parliament and the Prime Minister of Singapore. According to H.E. Mr. Mironov, the top politicians discussed bilateral relations in the perspective of Russia’s cooperation with ASEAN, plans for economic collaboration and the upcoming APEC summit in Vladivostok.

Mr. Mironov writes an entry
to the Guest's Book at Marina Barrage

On the last day of his visit, H.E. Mr. Mironov visited Marina Barrage, the freshwater catchment and flood control dam, where he praised highly the efficiency of using and preserving water in Singapore.

H.E. Mr. Mironov summarised the preliminary results of his visit, noting that Russia and Singapore had “very good economic relations and a very high level of political contacts”. He also extended an invitation for both parliamentary and business representatives to participate in the Baikal Economic Forum this September. The event will take place in Irkutsk and ensure the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of Russia’s Far East and Siberia.

By Natalia Makarova


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