Cross border digital collaborations pave the way for new business opportunities between Singapore and China in the digital economy

Last updated: 24 August 2021

Published on: 24 August 2021

Memoranda of Understanding Signed between Singapore and Chongqing Businesses at Smart China Expo 2021

Close to 20 Joint Innovation Development Fund Projects Supported To Date

SINGAPORE – 23 August 2021: At the International Dedicated Connectivity (IDC) Forum held as part of Smart China Expo (SCE) 2021, new Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between Singapore and Chongqing businesses were inked to further cross border digital collaborations in  a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, trade and logistics, and healthcare.

These MOUs are built on the back of deepened bilateral relation between Chongqing and Singapore to spur collaboration and innovation between companies from both sides. The companies are tapping into the growing opportunities in the digital economy, with Asia increasingly becoming the centre of the world economy. A McKinsey report[1] estimated that by 2040, the region could account for more than half of Global GDP and about 40% of global consumption. China is a key driving force within Asia, and Singapore, as an open, trusted and well-connected digital hub of the region, plays an important role in linking up China with Southeast Asia. Chongqing’s trade with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries, including ASEAN members, has grown 26 per cent (118.59 billion RMB) year-on-year in the first half of 2021. Moving forward, the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI) will continue to serve as a strong catalyst for wider collaboration between Western China and ASEAN, which is Chongqing’s largest trading partner.

A significant initiative between Chongqing and Singapore is the IDC led by IMDA and the Chongqing government. Launched in 2019, it was the first point-to-point internet connectivity between China and a foreign country, linking Singapore with seven districts across Chongqing, to provide high quality and fast digital connectivity between Southeast Asia through Singapore and Western China through Chongqing. Bandwidth intensive companies who serve both markets in sectors such as media, games, video conferencing, education and healthcare will stand to benefit most. An example is Haifu and Farrer Park Hospital’s collaboration on cross border ultrasonic diagnostics.

Speaking at the IDC Forum, Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), said, “Today, the IDC has become one of the hallmark projects for Singapore-China collaboration. This digital connectivity enables companies in ASEAN to better provide digital services in the Western China market via the connection through Singapore and vice versa. We have laid a solid foundation to catalyse collaborations and innovation between Singapore and Chongqing companies. In the next five years, we will drive more iconic projects in areas such as trade and logistics.” He also called on the participants to play a more active part in shaping the future of digital trade and supply chains across Asia and the world.

One of the MOUs signed today was between Singapore’s Combuilder and Chongqing’s Genmulu, where both estate builders will look to integrate smart property solutions in Chongqing to enhance the experience of residents. Another MOU that was inked facilitated the collaboration between Singapore startup EyRIS and Beijing’s Aurora International Trading to provide autonomous screening of retinal diseases faced by an ageing population through the indigenous use of AI algorithms. 

Highlights of Joint Innovation Development Fund[2] (JIDF)

To date, there have been close to 20 JIDF projects. One of the projects is Xjera Labs, a Singapore high-tech enterprise dedicated to research and development of AI video analysis and deep learning. The company is establishing an integrated cloud management platform for daily traffic operation management in Nan’an District in Chongqing. Given the myriad business opportunities in Western China, Xjera Labs has signed a new MOU today with another Chongqing partner to establish a China-Singapore Intelligent Manufacturing Research Institute.

Another JIDF project that came to fruition is a business matching platform for Singapore and Chongqing companies, that was launched at the IDC Forum today. This project is a result of a collaboration between SGTech and Chongqing Tech Marketplace, who are co-chairs of the Singapore-China ICT Innovation Alliance[3]. The platform will allow ICT companies from both sides to discover more projects and business opportunities to collaborate on.

The annual SCE is Chongqing’s most significant and a key platform for the top infocomm tech players and leaders, as well as the digital community from all over the world to exchange ideas, promote innovation and forge partnerships. As the co-organiser for the second consecutive year, Singapore led the participation of local ICT companies in the hybrid event to showcase their innovative products and services so as to facilitate and accelerate the companies’ entry into Western China.


[1] Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/asia-pacific/asias-future-is-now

[2] Launched in 2019, the JIDF is an RMB$40M initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Enterprise Singapore and Chongqing Application Development Administration Bureau to promote the joint development of innovative products and solutions. The fund aims to catalyse projects that have the potential to bring about substantial economic benefits for the respective companies and countries.

[3] Established in 2019, the Alliance aims to be a bridge between governments and businesses to cooperate in projects, promoting the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative’s ICT Pillar and recommending demonstrative projects for the JIDF.

Resources:

Annex A: Speech by Infocomm Media Development Authority Chief Executive Lew Chuen Hong at the International Dedicated Connectivity Forum (189.27KB)

Annex B: Summary List of Memorandum of Understandings (150.30KB)

Annex C: List of Companies Participating in the Physical and Virtual Exhibition (310.74KB)

Annex D: Fact Sheet on Joint Innovation Development Fund (162.94KB)


ISSUED BY THE INFO-COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (IMDA)


About Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

For media clarifications, please contact:

Nigel CHEN (Mr)
Assistant Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6982 1726
Email: Nigel_CHEN@imda.gov.sg

Angelia Chia (Ms)
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6202 4321
Email: Angelia_CHIA@imda.gov.sg