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China and Singapore strengthen ties with slate of media-related MOUs at Singapore Season China 2007

Dated: 13 October 2007

China and Singapore companies forge deals worth at least S$33.4 million or RMB 167 million

The stage is set for closer collaboration between the media industries of China and Singapore following a slate of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) facilitating bilateral government cooperation, media research and business projects, and academic exchanges.

Paving the way for closer bilateral ties was an MOU on media cooperation that the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) inked yesterday with the People’s Republic of China’s State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). The MOU aims to enhance bilateral partnership through information exchange;facilitate co-production of film and television projects between China and Singapore companies;and encourage reciprocal participation in key media-related events. Another MOU signed at the same time with the Film Bureau of SARFT formalised the agreement between both countries to co-organise each other’s film festivals, beginning with the Singapore Film Festival in Beijing (13 – 18 October 2007).

Giving media research a major boost is a pioneering collaboration between the renowned Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Automation and MDA to set up the China-Singapore Institute of Digital Media (中新数字媒体研究院) in Singapore. To be ready by next year, the research institute will involve some 40 researchers from China working on interactive digital media (IDM) research and development. For a start, joint research projects will be conducted with the National University of Singapore on areas of immersive learning of the Chinese language and technologies which can be deployed on media content development.

This is the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ first overseas R&D lab and the move reinforces Singapore’s efforts to become the premier location for idea innovation in the IDM space.

In all, 17 media-related government, business and academic agreements and MOUs are expected to be signed between China and Singapore as part of the ongoing Singapore Season China 2007. Of these, 11 were inked today at the China-Singapore Media Business Forum in Beijing, an MDA-organised event for industry players from both countries to network and learn about the business opportunities in the media sectors. Witnessing the signings was Guest-of-Honour Dr Lee Boon Yang, Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts.

Said Dr Lee: “China is quickly becoming a key producer and market for media content and services. Singapore companies would like to work with Chinese enterprises as we believe there is strong synergy in our respective media sectors to produce compelling media products not just for our home audiences but also for the global market. It is this synergy which underpins the 17 Memoranda of Understanding between China and Singapore signed during the Singapore Season.”
Making a major push into China is Singapore director Jack Neo’s newly-established Neo Studios which launched a media financing initiative targeted at the China market. With an initial funding of S$10 million or RMB 50 million, the Raffles China Media Fund will support the co-investment and co-production of films for distribution in China. Through the fund, Neo Studios will produce films for three years with the Shanghai Film Group Corporation, Xian’s Western Movie Group and Hong Kong’s Big Media Group Ltd, the production company of Mei Ah Entertainment.

Another Singapore film production company, World Without Borders, will be producing two films with partners from Hunan and Chengdu. The first is a feature film, “Year”《年》, which is the first of a planned trilogy called “Nian, Yue, Ri”《年,月,日》, and the second is an English animated film titled “You are my sunshine” 《微笑不见了》. The total production budget is estimated at S$9.4 million or RMB 47 million.

Singapore media companies are also expanding into high growth regions in China. On the IDM front, two Singapore companies - International Digital Media and Creative Industries Management Services – are partnering the state-owned investment arm of the Wuhan Government, Wuhan Hi-Tech Holding Group Co. Ltd, on separate projects to develop an e-sport online gaming portal, design and manage an e-sport stadium in Wuhan city, and market a 200-hectare creative services industrial park.

The successful Machinimasia1 Festival in Singapore will also be replicated in China in conjunction with the Wuhan’s Animation Festival in May 2008 through collaboration between Wuhan’s Animation and Comics Society and Singapore’s Association of Machinima Arts and Sciences.

In the area of manpower development and training, Institutes of Higher Learning from China and Singapore are working on joint student and information exchange programmes. Communication University of China and Shandong University have entered into agreements with Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic respectively to promote the sharing of resources and engage in student exchange programmes and jointly conduct research projects.

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About Singapore Season, China
First launched in London in 2005, Singapore Season is a cultural diplomacy effort to raise awareness of Singapore as a multi-cultural global city and showcase its global connectivity and attractiveness as a place to live, work and play. The patron of Singapore Season is Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Singapore Season London 2005 spanned six weeks and featured performances by Singapore arts groups and artistes at key arts venues, as well as associated events such as the Singapore Conference, the Singapore Evening, the naming of the Uniquely Singapore Clipper, the Singapore Season Film Week and the Singapore Food Festival.

Singapore Season in China 2007 is the second in the series of overseas ventures. Through the programmes, Singapore companies operating in China, and vice versa, will find the Season an excellent platform for generating higher brand profile and awareness especially in Beijing and Shanghai. Since China and Singapore established diplomatic relations more than ten years ago, economic cooperation between the two countries has grown steadily and is expected to increase further. China is now Singapore’s third largest trading partner and top foreign investment destination.

Singapore Season in China 2007 is organised by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts and the National Arts Council, in collaboration with Contact Singapore, DesignSingapore, Economic Development Board, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore, Media Development Authority, Ministry of Trade and Industry, People’s Association, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore and Urban Redevelopment Authority.

For more information on Singapore Season, visit

About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote developments in film, video, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation, media services and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, visit and

About Singapore Media Fusion (SMF) (新加坡媒体交汇)
The Singapore Media Fusion strategic positioning encapsulates the attributes of the media industry in showcasing Singapore as a global media city. It is a mark of the quality of our products and services and the collective richness and diversity of the media industry. The positioning not only lends consistency in the manner to which the Singapore media industry is represented and promoted, it is also intended to enhance the image of Singapore media at an international level, in a compelling and coherent manner