China Torch Center, an agency of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, is opening an incubation centre in Singapore for Chinese IT and high-tech corporations that want to enter the global marketplace.

China Torch Center is currently setting up operations in preparation for a formal launching ceremony in October. The centre aims to promote Chinese start-ups and small and medium-size companies seeking venture capital investment for growth and expansion globally. The centre will allow Chinese companies to tap into the vast consumer market of Southeast Asian nations, said Zhao Yu Hai, director general of the centre.

New centres are also planned for U.S. and Russia, but the one in Singapore is moving ahead first because that nation and China already have a good business foundation established, are close geographically and share cultures, Zhao said.

Singapore is also the largest international finance market in Southeast Asia, he said, and offers other benefits such as 140 risk investment companies with more than US$70 billion in funds.

The official opening of China Torch Center in Singapore has been slated to coincide with a high-tech event, Global Entrepolis, set for Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, where 53 high-tech parks from China will be represented. The event will include sessions for venture capitalists to exchange ideas and knowledge, discover technology, find partners, access funds and make deals.

Currently, there are 200 Chinese companies operating in Singapore, of which 60 are high-tech firms, some of which are listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Other countries besides China have operations similar to the incubation centre in Singapore, including Germany, Japan, India, South Korea and New Zealand.