Caixin
May 10, 2019 03:50 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Singapore Businesses Ink Six Deals in Nanjing

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon speaks at a panel discussion at the 2018 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in May 2018. Photo: IC Photo
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon speaks at a panel discussion at the 2018 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in May 2018. Photo: IC Photo

(The Straits Times) — Singapore businesses have inked several deals in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing to nurture startups, as well as develop water technology and internet security capabilities.

Six agreements were signed Thursday by representatives of Singapore companies that are part of a visiting delegation led by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Koh Poh Koon.

Koh was in the capital city of Jiangsu province for the annual Singapore-Nanjing Cooperation Panel meeting, now in its seventh year. It is a city-level platform under the Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council set up to boost bilateral collaboration in special projects in Nanjing.

There are eight business councils linking Singapore and various Chinese provinces and municipalities.

Among the deals signed between Singapore companies and Chinese government entities and businesses was a collaboration to run a center that provides co-working spaces and business support services such as market advisory services, mentorship programs and networking opportunities to Singapore and foreign startups looking to expand into Nanjing. The center opens Friday.

Startups can also tap each other’s resources and connections; Nanjing companies with plans to expand into Southeast Asia can look to the Singapore firms for help, for instance.

The center will be based at the Sino-Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island, a 10-year-old township development supported by the two governments and co-developed by Singapore’s Yanlord Land Group Ltd. and Sembcorp Development Ltd., and two of China’s state-owned enterprises.

Spanning 15.21 square kilometers (5.87 square miles), the island is yet another joint project that focuses on innovative, high-tech and sustainable development, like the government-led Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city.

“The economic relations between Singapore and Nanjing have expanded beyond infrastructure development to include other aspects such as services and knowledge exchange. Building on the strong foundation developed, we see great potential for our companies to foster deeper collaborations in innovation, urban development solutions and talent exchanges,” said Koh, who co-chairs the Singapore-Nanjing Cooperation Panel with acting Nanjing mayor Lan Shaomin.

Singapore has invested $1.89 billion in the island as of last year and wants to move from infrastructure construction to more advanced development, such as creating an innovation ecosystem based on artificial intelligence, water technology research and application and sustainable urban management.

Besides the center that supports startups, Singapore and Nanjing have also agreed to jointly develop a testing platform for internet and software security, set up a specialist clinic providing allergy, arthritis and rheumatism services in Nanjing, and partner to build an industrial and logistics park.

Singapore is the fourth-largest foreign investor in Nanjing, primarily in manufacturing, finance, education, health care and real estate. Its cumulative actual investments in the city were $3.4 billion as of December.

This story was originally published in The Straits Times.

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