18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation and Related Joint Steering Council Meetings in Singapore

01 November 2022

Source: PMO

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat co-chaired the 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), 23rd China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) Joint Steering Council (JSC), 14th Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) JSC, and 6th China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI) JSC meetings with Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Han Zheng in Singapore on 1 November 2022.

Bilateral Meeting between DPM Heng and Vice Premier Han

DPM Heng and Vice Premier Han had a bilateral meeting prior to the JCBC and related JSC meetings. DPM Heng welcomed Vice Premier Han’s visit to Singapore, which was his first overseas visit since the COVID-19 pandemic. DPM Heng and Vice Premier Han reaffirmed the strong and longstanding relationship between Singapore and China, and were pleased with the resumption of the JCBC in-person, which reflected the significance of the JCBC as the apex bilateral platform for cooperation, and both countries’ commitment to resume in-person bilateral interactions.

DPM Heng and Vice Premier Han also exchanged views on the importance of maintaining strong people-to-people linkages between Singapore and China, including through a gradual and safe restoration of air connectivity. Both sides noted the good progress on this front, and tasked the respective officials to continue to build on the positive momentum.

18th JCBC saw 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and agreements announced

The 18th JCBC meeting reviewed bilateral cooperation in the following areas: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); economic, trade and sustainability; innovation; finance; public health, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges; as well as the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, which is a state-level bilateral cooperation project. 

DPM Heng and Vice Premier Han agreed that the bilateral relationship, through our various projects and cooperation platforms, had evolved in line with our two countries’ development priorities. Given the unprecedented pace of change worldwide, Singapore and China should continue to collaborate closely on innovation across all sectors to keep up with these changes. DPM and Vice Premier Han agreed that both sides should continue to be forward-looking, and intensify joint efforts to tap upon new growth opportunities in emerging areas, such as the digital and green economies, in order to drive sustainable and inclusive growth for both countries and the region.

DPM Heng and Vice Premier Han agreed that Singapore and China should continue to deepen cooperation in areas such as trade, third party collaboration, science and technology innovation cooperation, smart cities, finance, public health and epidemic response, leadership development, social governance, human resources development, education, and cultural and tourism exchanges. 

19 MOUs and agreements were announced at the JCBC:

(a) MOU on the Further Promotion of the Development of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity;

(b) MOU on Electronic Commerce Cooperation;

(c) MOU on Innovation Cooperation;

(d) MOU on Municipal Environmental Management and Water Sustainability Cooperation;

(e) MOU on the Singapore-China Foundation;

(f) Protocol to Amend the MOU on Health Cooperation;

(g) Announcement to Launch the Joint Study on Green Economy Cooperation;

(h) Renewal of the Letter of Intent on Co-Organising the Smart China Expo;

(i) MOU on China-Singapore (Nanjing) Customs Twinning Cooperation;

(j) MOU on Developing a Cooperation Framework to Promote Singapore Companies’ Participation in the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City’s Industrial Development and Innovation;

(k) MOU on Deepening Green Development Cooperation;

(l) MOU between Enterprise Singapore and the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China;

(m) MOU on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation;

(n) MOU on Training and Collaborations in Developing a Resilient and Safe City;

(o) MOU on Strategic Cooperation with the Singapore University of Technology and Design in the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City;

(p) Launch of the China-Singapore “Single Window” Interconnection Consortium Blockchain and Track and Trace Service;

(q) Announcement on Agreement to Establish a China – Singapore Green Finance Taskforce;

(r) Announcement of the Launch of First Participating Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) under the Singapore Exchange – Shenzhen Stock Exchange ETF Product Link; and

(s) Announcement of the Launch of the Low-Carbon Index Family for the Asia-Pacific Market between the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and Singapore Exchange.

23rd SIP JSC Meeting

The 23rd SIP JSC Meeting commended the SIP’s achievements in 2022, and emphasised the continued importance of its role as a pathfinder for Singapore-China collaboration. Both sides expressed support for the progress made in new areas of cooperation, such as green development and the digital economy, which would foster greater joint innovation and enable commercial partnerships. Both sides also noted the progress in our cooperation in cross-border investments and the biomedical sector, and reaffirmed commitment to deepen people-to-people exchanges.

14th SSTEC JSC Meeting

At the 14th SSTEC JSC Meeting, Singapore and China reaffirmed the importance of the Tianjin Eco-City as a platform for bilateral cooperation on environmental sustainability. Both sides welcomed the new partnerships that have been formed to facilitate mutual learning and joint innovation of low-carbon solutions to address climate change. The Eco-City has also brought together Singapore and Chinese companies to capitalise on new growth opportunities arising from low-carbon development, and will continue to offer new opportunities for businesses and talent to jointly create and pilot innovative sustainable solutions. Both sides looked forward to strengthening collaboration on the Eco-City as it marks its 15th anniversary next year.

6th CCI JSC Meeting

The 6th CCI JSC meeting noted that the CCI continued to serve as a priority demonstration project for China’s developmental strategies and enhanced connectivity between Southeast Asia and Western China. Both sides affirmed their commitment to implement the CCI – New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor Cooperation Plan endorsed at the JCBC meeting last year, and recognised the milestone reached with the launch of the Multi-Modal Distribution and Connectivity Centre in Chongqing in June this year. The meeting also discussed the policy innovations and opportunities for collaboration in newer areas that would enable the CCI to break new ground.

  On the Singapore side, the JCBC and related JSC meetings were attended by Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister (Trade and Industry) Gan Kim Yong, Minister (Transport) and Minister-in-charge (Trade Relations) S Iswaran, Minister (Sustainability and the Environment) Grace Fu, Minister (Education) Chan Chun Sing, Minister (Health) Ong Ye Kung, Minister (Communications and Information) and Second Minister (Home Affairs) Josephine Teo, Minister (National Development) and Minister-in-charge (Social Services Integration) Desmond Lee, Minister (Culture, Community and Youth) and Second Minister (Law) Edwin Tong, Minister (Manpower) and Second Minister (Trade and Industry) Dr Tan See Leng, Minister of State (Culture, Community and Youth) (Trade and Industry) Low Yen Ling, and Minister of State (Culture, Community and Youth) (Trade and Industry) Alvin Tan.

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