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On 25th May, legendary violist Yuri Bashmet returns to the Esplanade theatre for a one-night performance together with the renowned Moscow Soloists.





Singaporean pianist Song Ziliang presents an evening of piano music with works ranging from the monumental Bach-Busoni Chaconne in D minor to Scriabin's mercurial Fifth Sonata. Also featured is local composer Denise Lee’s Within the Horizon (2009).

A graduate of the Royal College of Music (London) where he studied with Gordon Fergus-Thompson, Ziliang started playing the piano at the age of 4. After completing his O-levels, Ziliang served out his military service and left for Russia where he entered the Moscow Conservatory to study under the tutelage of Mikhail Petukhov. Whilst in Russia, Ziliang was featured in Channel U's Find me a Singaporean.

A prize-winner at the National Piano and Violin Competition 2001 and the XI International Nikolai Rubinstein Piano Competition 2008 in Paris, Ziliang has recently begun exploring the piano duo genre, performing most notably with Russian pianist Alexander Romanovsky at the RCM and Japanese pianist Chikako Murata at the Esplanade Concourse.

Firmly believing in bringing music to the masses, Ziliang frequently performs outreach concerts in venues ranging from The Arts House to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital, often juxtaposing pop with popular classics. He has also participated in charity concerts and proceeds from his last solo recital in 2008 were donated to the education fund of the National Museum, Singapore.

In September 2010, Ziliang will resume his studies (embarking on the Masters in Music programme) at the RCM under the sponsorship of Trailblazer Foundation. Join him in this musical trail through Singapore, Russia and United Kingdom!





Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to invite you to participate in the 5th Russia-Singapore Business Forum to be held in Singapore from 26 – 29 September 2010.

Despite the economic downturn in 2009, RSBF 09 tripled its attendance since its inception and over 600 top government and business elites from Russia/CIS and Singapore/Asia gathered in Singapore for the highly-anticipated annual business networking forum. Several business tie-ups have happened since then and I expect this year’s RSBF to be even more exciting.

Our theme for RSBF 2010 is focused on the emergence of countries such as China, India and Russia as the new engines of growth and new emerging markets like Viet Nam, Indonesia and Taiwan. The RSBF is the only leading business and networking platform for Russian/CIS and Singaporean/Asian businessmen and our target for RSBF 2010 is to gather about 300-400 Russians/CIS and 300 Asian/Singapore companies in Singapore to explore new opportunities, create networks and forge partnerships. We will continue to feature high-level and quality speakers, including Singapore leaders such as Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, and other top business elites from Russia and around the region.

The three-day programme includes conference sessions and intervening events to promote business-matching and networking opportunities.

For more information regarding RSBF 2010, please visit our website

I look forward to welcoming you to the Russia-Singapore Business Forum 2010.

Yours sincerely

Ambassador Michael Tay
Executive Director, RSBF &
Adjunct Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy









Growing Russia-Singapore Relations in the Post-Crisis World

1. First, let me extend a warm welcome to all our Russian and other friends from abroad. We are happy to have you with us today at the 4th Russia-Singapore Business Forum (RSBF). The RSBF has indeed grown since it first started in 2006. Some 200 businessmen and officials, mostly from Russia and Singapore, attended that inaugural meeting. This year, we welcome a record number of over 450 participants. They came not only from Russia and Singapore but also from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Asia. This is testimony of the usefulness of the Business Forum for networking and exchanging views.

Impact of the Financial Crisis

2. In June last year, I spoke at the Skolkovo Business Forum in Moscow. Since then, the world has been through a grinding financial crisis, the most severe since the Great Depression. The epicentre of the financial earthquake was in the United States. Given the size of the US economy and the global footprint of the large US financial institutions which failed, the financial earthquake probably measured more than 9 on the equivalent of the Richter scale. The tremors triggered a financial tsunami and a global recession, from which we are only now beginning to emerge.

3. Nobody escaped unscathed. Not Russia, not Singapore. In fact, Singapore, being an open and globally connected economy, was the first Asian economy to slip into a recession in the third quarter of 2008.






"The Man Who Brought Russia to Singapore": 103rd MERIDIAN EAST speaks to Ambassador Michael Tay, the executive director of APEC and the founder of Russia-Singapore Business Forum (, an annual event which this year will be held on 28 and 29 September.

Deeply in love with Russian culture, Tay commissioned a symphony to Russian composer Vladimir Martynov which has become an unprecedented event in the cultural history of both countries. Tay does not only generate ideas on how to bring Singapore and Russia even closer, he personally sees to it that they come true.

Don't miss the interview with this remarkable and charismatic diplomat in the upcoming issue of 103rd MERIDIAN EAST in September 2009.





Over 600 women delegates from 21 APEC economies came to Singapore on 4- 5 August 2009 to discuss issues on Women and Sustainable Development, covering issues pertinent to women in business, knowledge economy, work-life harmony and social enterprise. The background of these women delegates spanned from government, business, academia and civil society. Read more about this event in the upcoming issue of 103rd MERIDIAN EAST in September 2009.





The Istana lush grounds were open to the public on Sunday, 2 August to celebrate the National Day.

The Istana, official residence of the President of Singapore where he receives and entertains state guests, is open to the public annually in celebration of the main public holidays.
The next Istana Open Houses have been scheduled for:
21 September 2009 (to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa)
18 October 2009 (to celebrate Deepavali)

Admission to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Others, including foreign visitors, are required to pay an entrance fee of $1 per person. Entrance to the grounds is via the main gate at Orchard Road.

This August Open House incorporated the annual Istana Art Event with its fun and interactive art and heritage activities.

The centerpiece of the event was the iconic installation, Canopy of Dreams, made up of more than 1,000 umbrellas designed by children and youths nation-wide in celebration of Singapore. The visitors were welcome to write down their well-wishes for Singapore!

For more information on Istana please visit

For additional information on Art Event 2009 please visit





The second episode of Experience Singapore Literature, an initiative by the National Library Board took participants on a journey to the Changi airport, Raffles Place and Armenian Street. Armed with local poems and guided by Cyril Wong, participants visited places reflected in the poems written by local writers, Alvin Pang, Boey Kim Cheng and Cyril Wong. Participants also shared their thoughts on ever-changing Singapore, life and love in the city-state.

As the initiative puts it, "literature is best encountered and remembered through experience", Cyril led the group through the places, time and personal memories intertwined with lyrical perception.

This initiative will take place monthly till October with each episode uncovering Singapore from different perceptives. For more information please visit, the National Library Board's programme site at and surf on to 'Experience Singapore Literature'.





The dialogue session "REMOVING BARRIERS FOR BUSINESS GROWTH IN APEC" organized by APEC Business Advisory Council Singapore (ABAC) and Singapore Business Federation gave the local and international businesses the perfect opportunity to meet the key representatives that are driving the APEC and ABAC agenda in 2009. The panel included Ambassador Michael Tay (Executive Director APEC Secretariat 2009), Mr Teng Theng Dar (CEO Singapore Business Federation, ABAC Chair 2009), Ms Chong Siak Ching (President and CEO Ascendas Pte Ltd, Chair Organizing Committee APEC CEO Summit 2009), and Dr Cheong Wei Yang (Deputy Director, Industry Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore's representative to APEC Economic Committee).

The session also included the presentation of "ABAC EoDB Survey: Key Indicative Findings" introducing the top areas of regulatory barriers faced by business when doing business in APEC and suggestions on regulatory reforms that businesses would like to see APEC governments work or improve on.

After the panelists depicted the main goals and objectives of APEC and the significance of the upcoming APEC Summit 2009 the other participants of the session had a chance to ask their own questions regarding the business expansion and the benefits of conducting business within APEC economies.

For additional information please refer to Singapore Business Federation site or APEC official website




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