The China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstrative Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI), launched on 7 November 2015, is Singapore’s third government to government (G2G) project with China. As China’s biggest megacity with more than 30 million residents and economically one of the fastest growing cities in China, Chongqing presents a huge market opportunity for Singapore companies. In 2020, the scale of Chongqing’s digital economy reached 638.7 billion yuan (about 98.55 billion U.S. dollars), and its share of GDP climbed to 25.5% of China’s total GDP. Correspondingly, Southeast Asia’s Digital Economy is growing significantly and is projected to hit $363 billion U.S dollars by 2025.
Chongqing is also a key port along the Yangtze River Economic Belt and a major logistics node for BRI (The Belt and Road Initiative). The BRI would help to cement Singapore’s position as a global maritime trade hub and benefit Singapore economically through tremendous trade and business opportunities, widespread connectivity, and multiplication of investment.
CCI therefore focuses on modern connectivity and services connecting Singapore enterprises to China’s western region and connecting Singapore to China’s BRI, jointly create opportunities with Chongqing enterprises in ASEAN markets. This will facilitate physical and digital trade, support data-driven businesses, and develop vibrant and innovative ICT industries for both countries.
Four strategic pillars were identified under CCI – Financial Services, Aviation, Transport and Logistics and ICT. As the CCI-ICT pillar lead, IMDA aims to spur innovation and business collaborations for Singapore and Chongqing industries. IMDA renewed Singapore’s partnership MOU with Chongqing Big Data Development Bureau (CQBDB) on cooperation in the field of Information, Communications and Media at the 7th Joint Implementation Committee meeting on 11 Apr 2022. The renewed MOU affirms Singapore and Chongqing’s commitment to promote industry partnerships and extended cooperation areas into smart cities, and talent development. The CCI-ICT project creates efficient and sustainable business and trade processes through market access and policy innovation.
i) Market Access
- Joint Innovation Development Fund
The Singapore-China (Chongqing) ICM Joint Innovation Development Fund (JIDF) was established by IMDA, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and CQBDB to support the development of new and innovative digital solutions by Chinese and Singapore companies. The programme aims to harness business and innovation opportunities in China and Singapore and create partnerships for companies to expand to Southeast Asia and facilitate cross-border digital trade. Additionally, the programme is in alignment with TradeTrust, an initiative that seeks to streamline digital trade documentation processes.
The JIDF has facilitated technology partnerships to innovate and create commercially viable projects encompassing artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things (IoT), virtual reality and augmented reality and robotics. To date, the programme has supported 18 projects in the areas such as Smart Cities, Transport and Logistics, and Manufacturing.
- International Dedicated Connectivity
IMDA worked with the Chongqing Big Data Bureau (CQBDB) to facilitate partnerships between telcos from China and Singapore, which led to the launch of the Singapore - China (Chongqing) International Dedicated Connectivity (IDC) on 11 September 2019.
The International Dedicated Connectivity (IDC) serves as a bridge for the construction of ""One Belt, One Road"", the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle. With a total data capacity of 260Gbps, the IDC provides a dedicated data channel between Singapore and Chongqing, offering a better network experience, such as lower latency, lower packet loss, and better network reliability to users in Singapore and Chongqing. This will improve digital connectivity between Southeast Asia (through Singapore) and Western China (through Chongqing).
The IDC will facilitate cross-border digital trade and strengthen Singapore’s position as the Data Hub for Southeast Asia while enabling Chongqing to be positioned as the data hub for Western China. This will also help create new business opportunities in Healthcare, Fintech, Transport & Logistics, Education and Media as Singapore companies can now digitally expand their businesses to Western China, through Chongqing, whilst Chongqing companies can also expand into Southeast Asia market, through Singapore.
IMDA participates in the annual International Smart China Expo (SCE), which is a high signature event for Chongqing and the Chongqing Municipality Government. The SCE is a key platform for ICT companies, tech leaders and the digital community across China to converge in Chongqing to exchange ideas, promote innovation, and forge partnership.
Through exhibitions as part of the Singapore Pavilion and participation in the International Dedicated Connectivity (IDC) Forum and business networking sessions, Singapore companies are provided the platform and opportunity to market their brands, learn about the latest technologies in China as well as network with like-minded partners/companies from China to form collaborations.
ii) Policy Innovation
IMDA's TradeTrust aims to support cross-border digital trade by improving efficiencies, reducing costs of paper documentation, and enabling new service offerings through interoperability, visibility, and control. TradeTrust reduces inefficiencies and complexities of cross-border trade arising from the current paper-based documentation, such as the bill of lading. This lowers operating costs for businesses and the risk of fraud while accelerating the digitalisation of cross-border trade processes, thereby promoting more growth in trade between Singapore and China.
- Cross Borders Data Flow
Personal data is growing in importance as we start developing more digital connections. IMDA works closely to deepen G2G engagements to foster thought leadership & collaboration on policy innovation in Telecommunications, Cross-border Data Flows and Data Protection. IMDA will continue to work with Chongqing Municipality Government towards implementing policy innovations in Telecommunications, Cross-Border Data Flows and Data Protection, which will promote the use of the IDC.
IMDA will continue to invest in digital connectivity, frameworks, and solutions per our regulations as part of our work to accelerate industry digital transformation for smart cities of the future. We hope to continue to strengthen our linkages and exchanges with Chongqing in both industry and policy areas to expand to Western China and open the gateway to Southeast Asia, uplifting the quality of lives of our people.