The 18th Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee (SSTIC [1]) meeting and Sichuan (Chengdu) FTZ investment promotion seminar were held in Singapore on 17th November. The meetings were co-chaired by Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport, Mr. Ng Chee Meng, and Sichuan Vice-Governor Mr. Zhu Hexin in Singapore. Mr. Chen Hongtao, deputy director of the management committee of Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone (CDHT), and Mr. Liu Xiliang, Director and CEO of Sino-Singapore (Chengdu) Innovation Park Development, the master developer of Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park (SSCIP) also attended the meetings. Of the 7 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) that were signed between the Singapore and Sichuan governments and companies during the SSTIC meeting, 3 of them were for SSCIP.

To drive more partnerships in innovation and technology, SSCIP signed a MOU with CDHT, International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and Millet World to develop the “SSCIP-Singapore Innovation Centre”. The innovation and shared services platform will focus on promoting Singapore companies to land in CDHT as well as to boost cooperation between Singapore and China companies and facilitate business expansion in China, It also provides services and guidance to companies seeking overseas expansion to Southeast Asia through Singapore. These will spur collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies and support Singapore companies seeking to internationalize in Chengdu, Millet World said in a press release on Friday. It added that companies can enjoy cross-collaborative opportunities, training resources and consultancy services by leveraging on the resources of the various partners in this agreement.

Minister Ng also emphasized the importance of this cooperation, and said that “Singapore continues to be the top foreign investor country in Sichuan. We hope to deepen our collaboration with Sichuan in technology, innovation and services through the Sichuan Free Trade Zone and Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park (SSCIP). One such initiative is the SSCIP-Singapore Innovation Centre, which will serve as a platform to demonstrate new technologies and innovations for in-market adoption. The new policies in the Sichuan Free Trade Zone also create opportunities for our companies in healthcare, education and financial services.”

Above photo: MOUs being signed by Mr. Liu Xiliang, director and CEO of Sino-Singapore (Chengdu) Innovation Park Development, the master developer of SSCIP, Mr. Chen Hongtao, deputy director of the management committee of CDHT, Mr. Kenneth Teo Teck Leong, Regional Director, West China, IE Singapore, Jimmy Soon, CEO of Millet World and Mr. Aravind Vasu, CEO Metaverse Systems (a joint-ventured company of Millet World) and Mr. Paul Gregersen, CEO of Greater China Operations Division, Parkway Pantai/Credit: Millet World (from Millet World's Facebook page)

Above photo: MOUs being signed by Mr. Liu Xiliang, director and CEO of Sino-Singapore (Chengdu) Innovation Park Development, the master developer of SSCIP, Mr. Chen Hongtao, deputy director of the management committee of CDHT, Mr. Kenneth Teo Teck Leong, Regional Director, West China, IE Singapore, Jimmy Soon, CEO of Millet World and Mr. Aravind Vasu, CEO Metaverse Systems (a joint-ventured company of Millet World) and Mr. Paul Gregersen, CEO of Greater China Operations Division, Parkway Pantai/Credit: Millet World (from Millet World's Facebook page)

Parkway Pantai, one of Asia’s largest integrated private healthcare groups, and SSCIP signed a MOU to explore developing a high-end women and children’s hospital in SSCIP.

Another exciting MOU, especially for Chengdu citizens, was signed between Metaverse System s,the operator of Future@WorkTM and SSCIP for the implementation of the first-of-its-kind integrated technology showcase centre and children theme park. Developed by Futurize Holdings Pte Ltd, Future@WorkTM is an immersive indoor theme park that will allow participants to experience and understand jobs of the future. Targeted at children aged 5 to 15 years old, Metaverse Systems said it will start with the launch of its flagship centre in Singapore by the second quarter of 2018, and then expand its operations into selected markets. When opened, children and their parents will experience emerging technologies such as 3D printing, robots and artificial intelligence.

IE Singapore also signed a MOU with Sichuan government to help Singapore companies access opportunities in the FTZ. According to IE Singapore, Sichuan FTZ is the first FTZ in China where IE Singapore has developed both provincial-level and city-level networks to ease the entry of Singapore companies into the province. IE Singapore also announced several initiatives to help Singapore companies in technology, innovation and services capture opportunities in Sichuan province. The Sichuan government will also be pushing for innovation reform through the Sichuan Free Trade Zone (FTZ), and these reforms were launched in April 2017 at Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park (SSCIP).

In recent years, the cooperation between Singapore and Sichuan has become closer. In 2016, Singapore-Sichuan bilateral trade reached around S$1.1 billion. From January to September 2017, bilateral trade increased 27% to reach S$918.4 million. In 2016, Singapore was the top foreign investor country in Sichuan. Last year, Singapore’s actual investment in Sichuan reached around S$530.4 million, bringing total cumulative actual investments to around S$8.1 billion with 562 projects, the largest among provinces in West China.

Notes:

[1] The Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee (SSTIC) is a bilateral economic framework aimed at strengthening Singapore's economic relations with the Sichuan Province. It was formed in May 1996 and comprises public and private sector members from Singapore and Sichuan. Mr. Lim Swee Say, Minister, Ministry of Manpower, and Mr. Yin Li, Sichuan Governor, are Advisors to the committee while Minister Ng Chee Meng, Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport, and Mr. Zhu Hexin, Sichuan Vice-Governor, are Cochairmen of the SSTIC. IE Singapore is the Secretariat to the SSTIC in Singapore.

[2] Millet World specialises in creative place and space management and developing platforms for the promotion of geographical expansion and growth of Singapore SMEs through the Millet World Trading Post.