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Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the Singapore-China (Guangdong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the Singapore-China (Guangdong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference

尊敬的王中省海燕大使,

各位嘉宾,朋友们,

 

大家下午好!

 

1. 很高兴受邀出席今天的中国(广东)- 新加坡经贸合作交流会。

2. 衷心向现场的各位,尤其是广东的嘉宾朋友们,致以诚挚的问候。

 

3. 今天的活动意义重大。这是新加坡与广东自冠病疫情以来的首个实体经贸合作交流会。

4. 希望今天的交流会能够让在座的企业对广东的发展有更深的了解,也从中发掘新的商机, 促进新粤企业未来经贸合作的新动力。

 

5. 新加坡与广东的历史渊源颇深,两地人民也具有浓厚的血缘亲情。在新加坡华族人口当中,有百分之十四是广东的后裔。

6. 他们也是新加坡第三大华族方言群体。可能正是因为有着特殊的情缘,所以我们的合作具有牢不可破的情感基础。

 

7. 接下来,我会以英语发言。

 

Strong and growing bilateral relationship between Singapore and Guangdong

 

8. Singapore and Guangdong has enjoyed a close bilateral relationship since the early days. Hence not surprised that Guangdong has remained Singapore’s top Chinese provincial trading partner for the 34th consecutive year.

 

9. Despite pandemic, bilateral trade has continued to increase over the years. Trade between Guangdong and Singapore increased from US$18.3 B in 2020 to US$19.8 B in 2021 and reached US$23.1 B last year.

 

10. In March this year, PM Lee Hsien Loong visited China and met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Both leaders agreed to upgrade our bilateral relations to an “All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership”.

 

11. PM Lee visited Guangzhou enroute to Beijing - the first Chinese City he chose to visit after COVID-19 pandemic. PM’s first official visit to Guangzhou was 10 years ago. He took stock of the good relations and progress of collaborations between Singapore and Guangdong.

 

12. Guangdong always been a choice location of Singapore companies to invest into China.

 

a. Actual investment flows from Singapore companies into Guangdong remained resilient at about RMB 7 B annually over the past three years, with a notable rebound in 1Q 2023 with the reopening.

 

b. As of 2020, Guangdong was ranked one of the top three provinces and municipalities for Singapore’s direct investment stock in Mainland China.

 

We witnessed some of these investment collaborations at this morning’s 13th Singapore – Guangdong Collaboration Council.

 

13. Collectively, we signed 21 MOUs and showcased collaborations across key focus areas such as financial services, technology and innovation, healthcare and biomedical, and sustainability and green economy.

 

14. We also renewed and expanded our bilateral cooperation, to include some of the ‘future-oriented’ areas I just mentioned.

 

15. We can still do more together, and I encourage Singapore and Guangdong companies to identify new areas of partnerships.

 

16. At the forum later, we will learn more about business opportunities in Guangdong, including the Free Trade Areas in Hengqin (横琴), Qianhai (前海), and Nansha (南沙). Our companies may also wish to consider opportunities in these markets.

 

17. The China – Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC) and Shenzhen Smart City Initiative (SCI) are key platform projects that Singapore companies can tap to land in Guangdong and collaborate with Chinese companies. Both bilateral projects have progressed well.

 

18. Since its launch in 2019, SCI has built stronger digital and business links between Singapore and Shenzhen. Over the last three years despite the pandemic, SCI has facilitated 29 projects across 3 focus areas in digital connectivity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and talent exchange and development.

 

a. One project was Strides Mobility and DST (Shenzhen)’s formation of a joint venture electric mobility service company.

 

The company focuses on developing deep learning models for EV management platforms. This will have widespread commercial applicability for the growing EV market.

 

19. CSGKC has also matured quickly since its development in 2010. It’s a landing pad for Singapore companies exploring opportunities in Guangzhou and the Greater Bay Area.

 

a. For example, BioSyngen, a Singapore company focusing on cancer treatment through cell therapy set up an office CSGKC in 2016.

 

They signed an MOU this morning with Guangzhou Development District Administrative Committee and Knowledge City (Guangzhou) Investment Group Co. Ltd. to develop tech for tumour prevention and treatment.

 

This will help support their mission to develop new immunotherapies to address unmet needs in oncology.

 

20. And we will strengthen our support for Singapore companies through the CSGKC.

 

a. At this morning’s SGCC meeting, we announced an MOU between Enterprise Singapore, the CSGKC Administrative Committee, and the CSGKC Investment and Development Co. Ltd., to introduce more measures to help homegrown Singapore companies set up in CSGKC.

 

b. These measures will include incentives to encourage market entry, tech commercialisation, and support talent attraction.

 

c. I hope this will be a shot in the arm for our companies looking to invest in Guangzhou.

 

21. We also hope that companies in Guangdong can partner Singapore companies when they think about going abroad, especially when venturing into Southeast Asia.

 

a. Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most dynamic economies, but the region’s markets can be complex to navigate.

 

b. Singapore companies know how to successfully operate in this region, and Singapore’s connectivity, talent pool, and business support infrastructure will help Guangdong companies entering Southeast Asia.

 

Closing

 

22. 我期待新粤两方继续抓紧新的机遇,加深交流与合作。

最后,祝今天的交流会圆满成功。谢谢

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