China’s coastal province, Shandong is revving ever onward as it shifts from a manufacturing to service intensive economy. Singapore companies will be a part of this transition, partnering Chinese businesses in innovation and modern services.
Shandong is the second most populous province in China, brimming a 100 million population size. Compared to other provinces in China, Shandong ranked third in GDP in 2017. As its population burgeons, more opportunities for businesses will concentrate in consumer driven services such as education, healthcare and logistics.
Representative of the deepening relations and potential opportunities are the eleven company agreements signed at the 20th Singapore-Shandong Business Council held in Jinan, Shandong province on 23 October 2018. Agreements cut across a variety of industries including banking, healthcare, master planning and education.
Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister for State for Trade & Industry and Education, said, “Shandong is growing its economy and building capabilities in multiple sectors, and this opens up many exciting opportunities for Singapore companies. We can also partner Shandong companies to expand their operations in Southeast Asia, using Singapore as a regional hub.”
He added that the collaborations reflected the breath of Singapore and Shandong’s economic relationship. He said, “I am confident that our economic partnership will create even more possibilities for cooperation in future. This will benefit our companies and our people both from Shandong and Singapore.”
A key area for collaboration is in innovative solutions and ideas on economic transformation for accelerated and high-quality growth. This necessarily includes disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence.
In the education sector, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University will partner with Shandong University, a Chinese software company and an investment company to establish a five-year research program valued at SGD 25 million. The collaboration will research on the use of artificial intelligence for smart ageing and healthcare. Jinan will be the testbed for the developed technology. Both universities will also facilitate the exchange and training of more than twenty post-doctoral fellows and PhD students annually.
Singapore Cloud SaaS online learning platform and service provider will also collaborate the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics – Qingdao Wealth Management Institute. The Singapore company will provide a cloud based online learning platform and cloud technology support for the institution’s online accreditation program.
Furthermore, there are plans to spur the startup scene. Eight startups in the field of robotics, Internet of Things, and clean tech will embark on a business mission organised by Enterprise Singapore and Haier Singapore Innovation Centre. The selected startups will explore potential technology collaborations with Haier Group and other Chinese businesses. The startups will also learn more about Shandong’s technology space. Mr Chee expressed confidence in Singapore startups finding Shandong to be a conducive and suitable location for their international expansion.
In the field of healthcare, a Singapore engineering company will partner Yantai Outsourcing Model Area Administrative Committee. The paid will set up an industrial park for smart healthcare products manufacturing in Yantai, northeast of Shandong.
Already, a good number of Shandong and Singapore collaborations have taken place. Singapore presents itself as an attractive base for Shandong companies to internationalise. As of today, more than twenty Shandong companies have been listed in Singapore.
The Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and Education said, “I encourage more Shandong companies to partner Singapore companies and to use Singapore as a springboard for their overseas expansion into the Southeast Asia region and beyond.”