Shanghai, Singapore strengthen economy, trade cooperation| July 10, 2024

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The fifth meeting of the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council is held on July 9, in Shanghai. [Photo provided to]

Shanghai and Singapore are set to continue strengthening cooperation in various sectors including economy and trade, scientific innovation, urban governance and cultural exchanges, officials and business leaders said on July 9 in Shanghai at the fifth meeting of the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council, or SSCCC. Established in 2019, the council aims to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two sides and enhance connectivity between both markets.

The SSCCC mainly focuses on collaboration in six key areas, namely the Belt and Road Initiative, financial services cooperation, scientific and technological innovation, business environment optimization, urban governance, and people-to-people cultural exchanges.

Over the past five years, Shanghai and Singapore has signed and implemented 37 memorandums of cooperation, with another 15 ones signed during the meeting, according to Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai and the co-chairman of the SSCCC.

"Trade and economic cooperation between Shanghai and Singapore has seen continuous growth. Last year, Shanghai's total imports and exports with Singapore exceeded 107.5 billion yuan ($14.78 billion), growing nearly 20 percent compared with five years ago. Over 300 Singaporean businesses settled down in Shanghai in 2023, increasing 20 percent year-on-year," said Gong, adding that an increasing number of Singaporeans are now studying and living in Shanghai.

Gong pointed out that as Shanghai is striving to become a global center for economy, finance, trade, shipping and sci-tech innovation by 2025, and Singapore is eyeing to realize the Economy 2030 vision in trade, enterprise, manufacturing and services, both sides can further promote cooperation and align the development with each other.

Edwin Tong, co-chairman of the SSCCC and minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law of Singapore, said the council has already become an important platform for improving business and investment, deepening cooperation and fostering people-to-people communication between Singapore and Shanghai.

He said that the aim to set up the council is to foster better life for people and hoped the cooperation between the two sides will reach a new height.

During the meeting, Shanghai's Ruijin Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore's National University Hospital, looking to enhance collaboration in sectors such as clinical diagnosis and treatment, medical education, scientific research and development, hospital management and industrial cooperation.

Previously, Ruijin Hospital has already set up cooperation with the country's National Health Group and seen remarkable achievements. The two hospitals jointly won the hosting right of the RehabWeek 2023, a notable biennial conference in the rehabilitation technology field.

"Today we signed with the National University Hospital to explore cooperation in more fields, such as smart healthcare, surgical robots and telehealth. We will jointly establish the Singapore-Shanghai Medical Innovation Center to promote and deepen mutual communication," said Ning Guang, president of Ruijin Hospital.

CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd, a Singaporean digital trade solutions provider, signed with Shanghai E&P International and Shanghai Electronic Certification Authority during the meeting, aiming to facilitate cooperation in the cross-border e-commerce sector.

Ng Chee Keong, the company's vice president of North-East, Central and Southeast Asia and general manager of Greater China, spoke highly of doing business in Shanghai.

"Shanghai provides solid foundation for our products' industrial application. And as an international metropolis integrating different people and cultures, especially those with similar cultural backgrounds with Southeastern Asian nations, I feel at home doing business here. The long-term policies and strong support from the government also enable companies to plan for a longer term," said Ng.