Enterprise Singapore, Singapore’s government-owned enterprise development agency, is expanding the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to facilitate collaborations between the two startup ecosystems.

GIA signed an MOU with Quest Ventures and Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) to support this initiative, reported Open Gov Asia.

The MOU will help Singapore startups access HCMC’s startup ecosystem, and connect them to partners, investors, and customers in Vietnam, and vice versa. The partnership will also enable Singapore students to intern at startups in Vietnam.

Launched in 2017, GIA is a part of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) recommendations to strengthen Singapore’s connections to innovation hubs around the world. Its aim to create more opportunities for Singaporeans, students, entrepreneurs, and businesses to gain overseas experience, connect, and collaborate with their overseas counterparts.

As a Singapore-based venture fund, Quest Ventures has backed companies that have scalability and replicability in large internet communities.

SIHUB is a government-backed agency that was launched in 2016 under the Department of Science and Technology of HCMC, with the aim of growing the city into a startup and innovation hub of Southeast Asia.

Also Read: These agritech startups might be the next big thing in the Philippines

The first part of the partnership, beginning in September this year, involves up to ten Singapore startups. Another two runs of the programme are expected to take place over the next twelve months.

As part of the GIA, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) had also signed six MOUs with Vietnamese startups. Under the MOU, NP is to send 100 students over the next two years through its Global Entrepreneurial Internship Programme to undertake internships with their MOU partners.

In the coming August, NP will also be setting up its first GIA office in HCMC this August to help with the whole process.

The GIA network now has connections to 11 cities globally – Bangkok in Thailand; Beijing, Suzhou and Shanghai in China; Berlin and Munich in Germany; Jakarta in Indonesia; Paris in France; Tokyo in Japan; San Francisco in the US; and now HCMC in Vietnam.