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Singapore deepens economic cooperation with China through new platform with Shanghai and Third-Party Market Cooperation

Singapore deepens economic cooperation with China through new platform with Shanghai and Third-Party Market Cooperation

1. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today to deepen bilateral economic cooperation. The MOUs were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.  

Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council Established

2. The MOU on the establishment of the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council (SSCCC) was signed by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing and Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of China Shanghai Municipal Committee and Mayor of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government Ying Yong. Under this MOU, Singapore and Shanghai will establish a Ministerial-level platform to deepen cooperation in six key areas, namely (a) Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), (b) financial services cooperation, (c) technology and innovation, (d) ease of doing business, (e) urban governance, and (f) people-to-people exchanges. Enterprise Singapore and the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipality will serve as the Council Secretariat for Singapore and Shanghai respectively. This is Shanghai’s first comprehensive institutionalised platform with a foreign country. 

3. Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat and Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong will be the Co-Chairmen of the SSCCC, while Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Edwin Tong and Vice-Mayor of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government Xu Kunlin will serve as Vice Co-Chairmen. The inaugural SSCCC meeting is scheduled to take place on 24 May 2019 in Shanghai. 

Deepening Third-Party Market Cooperation

4. Mr Chan also signed the MOU on the Implementation Framework for Enhancing Singapore-China Third-Party Market Cooperation with PRC National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Vice Chairman Zhang Yong. This Implementation Framework MOU is a follow-up to an earlier MOU on Third-Party Market Cooperation along the Belt and Road signed between MTI and NDRC in April 2018. 

5. Under the Implementation Framework MOU, sectors including logistics, e-commerce, infrastructure and professional services such as financial and legal services, are highlighted as areas for collaboration in third-party markets under the BRI. Both sides will also formulate and maintain a project list to keep track of third-party market cooperation projects between Singapore and China. 

6. Mr Chan said, “As China enters its next phase of economic transformation, these MOUs will strengthen Singapore’s participation in China’s new growth strategies to mutual benefit. The newly established Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council will help to anchor Singapore’s engagements of China’s key financial and business hub, and tap into the economic integration of the Yangtze River Delta. The MTI-NDRC Implementation Framework MOU will enhance Singapore’s role as a launchpad into the wider Southeast Asia region for Chinese companies looking for opportunities along the Belt and Road Initiative.” 

7. Singapore and Shanghai enjoy robust economic relations. In 2018, Singapore-Shanghai trade amounted to approximately US$13.5 billion, accounting for about 13.6% of Singapore’s trade with China. As of end 2018, Singapore had over 4800 projects in Shanghai, amounting to about US$15.2 billion worth of cumulative actual investments.   

8. Singapore was the largest overseas investment destination for China along the Belt and Road and captured close to 23% of the total investment outflow from China to Belt and Road countries in 2018. Business collaborations1 between Singapore and China in third-party markets cover sectors ranging from infrastructure, financing to professional service and cover regions such as Southeast Asia. 

29 APRIL 2019


1 Examples of business collaborations between Singapore and China in third-party markets include the financing of a greenfield alumina refinery in Indonesia by a consortium of banks including DBS and Bank of China, Top International Holding and Yantai Port Co. Ltd’s port development and operations along Fatala River, Guinea, and Surbana Jurong and Silk Road Fund’s co-investment platform in greenfield infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia.

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