On 24 April 2023, the 4th Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council (“SSCCC”) meeting took place in Singapore. Enterprise Singapore (“EnterpriseSG”) and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government (“SMPG”) issued press releases on the meeting.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong co-chaired the meeting with Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng, Vice Co-Chairman and Minister of State for Trade and Industry & Culture, Community and Youth Low Yen Ling, and Vice Co-Chairman and Shanghai Vice Mayor Hua Yuan and about 120 Singapore and Chinese officials and business representatives were in attendance.
Since its establishment in 2019, the SSCCC has served as an important platform in catalysing deeper collaborations between Singapore and Shanghai, and also between Singapore and the broader Yangtze River Delta region. Mayor Gong noted that through the SSCCC, Shanghai will be able to promote closer economic and trade connection, better collaborative innovation, greater cooperation in transformation and broader cultural exchanges between Shanghai and Singapore, effectively engendering “high-quality” collaboration. Minister Tong noted that Shanghai is a key partner for Singapore in trade, investments and connectivity and that Singapore companies have complementary capabilities in the areas of Shanghai’s goals as stated in its 14th Five Year Plan and will be able to contribute.
Mayor Gong attended the Roundtable with Singapore Companies and took note of the opinions and suggestions raised during the meeting. He noted that Shanghai will focus on improving comprehensive productivity factors, enhancing the resilience and safety level of the industrial supply chains, promoting regional development through cooperation, and creating a market-oriented and international leading business environment with rule of law. Mayor Gong invited global enterprises to utilise the opportunities and join Shanghai’s high-quality development. Mayor Gong further invited Singaporean companies to utilise the opportunities offered by the China International Import Expo to actively expand into the Chinese market. Mayor Gong also attended the panel discussion with Chinese enterprises which are doing business in Singapore and wished them greater success in achieving development and serving leading roles in bringing comprehensive cooperation between Shanghai and Singapore. Mayor Gong noted that the SMPG had implemented several measures to comprehensively enhance its capabilities to serve and assist domestic enterprises to venture into global markets.
Agreements signed across diverse areas
A total of 15 agreements were signed during the SSCCC meeting, 14 of which were Memoranda of Understanding (“MOUs”) and one a Letter of Intent, covering areas such as people-to-people exchanges, financial services, technology and innovation, as well as emerging areas such as the digital economy. The digital economy was a new area of collaboration agreed between Singapore and Shanghai at the third SSCCC meeting. At the latest meeting, the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization signed an MOU at to further strengthen cooperation in digital connectivity, digital utilities, and innovation. Singapore’s CrimsonLogic also partnered the Shanghai Data Group to enhance cross-border flow of goods through digitalisation.
Continuing progress in SSCCC workgroups
In addition to the good progress that had been achieved across six SSCCC workgroups (which are Belt and Road Initiative, Financial Services, Technology and Innovation, Ease of Doing Business, Urban Governance and People-to-People Exchanges) over the past year, Minister Tong noted that there have been significant outcomes from the partnerships forged in the technology and innovation and financial services sectors. New growth opportunities were also unlocked in emerging areas such as the green and digital economies.
In relation to financial services initiatives, it was highlighted at the SSCCC meeting that the deepening of the connectivity between Singapore and Shanghai has facilitated the internationalisation of financial institutions from both Singapore and Shanghai and allowed them to capitalise on new opportunities in the region through establishing a presence in the respective markets.
There has also been significant progress in cross-border payments and bond listings, with UnionPay International’s partnerships with DBS Bank and OCBC Bank, and in green finance collaboration such as the cooperation between Singapore’s Marketnode, Fudan University and China Chengxin Ratings Group on improving the quality and comparability of information on China’s onshore bond market, and an asset tokenisation and carbon credit collaboration between Singapore FinTech firm Metaverse and Shanghai’s Greenland Group.
The leaders reaffirmed their commitments to the global climate change agenda and agreed to explore more substantive partnerships in sustainability. For instance, Singapore is keen to work with Shanghai to facilitate greater cross-border green and transition finance to support the region’s transition, pilot green and digital solutions in enhancing global maritime supply chains. Singapore companies are also exploring pilot projects in Shanghai that are related to green buildings and urban rejuvenation. Minister Tong noted that Singapore and Shanghai can do more to support the regional pivot towards a more sustainable, low-carbon and inclusive future, including (a) facilitating cross-border green and transition finance to support the region’s transition, (b) green buildings, (c) urban rejuvenation, and (d) enhancing the sustainability of global maritime supply chains.