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Singapore collaborating with Jiangsu to drive opportunities for Singapore companies  in trade

Singapore collaborating with Jiangsu to drive opportunities for Singapore companies in trade, professional services, innovation and urban renewal

Collaboration in the areas of professional services,
innovation and urban renewal, which would enable Singapore companies stand to
capture greater trade flows and opportunities, were discussed
at the 11th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC [1]) meeting in Suzhou,
Jiangsu province today. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance
with Mr. Wu Zhenglong, Jiangsu Governor. The Vice Co-Chairmen Dr. Koh Poh Koon,
Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Trade and Industry & National
Development, and Mr. Chen Zhenning, Jiangsu Vice Governor, were also present.

Jiangsu is the biggest economy in east China, with its GDP
reaching S$1.56 trillion (RMB7.61 trillion) at 7.8% growth in 2016. The province
is currently focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and active reforms
to drive growth. As the BRI catalyses the internationalisation of Jiangsu
enterprises into Southeast Asia, there are opportunities for Singapore
professional services companies to offer their expertise and established
regional networks.

Singapore and Jiangsu will focus on driving technology
innovation, incubation and commercialisation cooperation. This enables
Singapore tech companies and start-ups to access the vibrant innovation
ecosystem in Jiangsu and China, to address opportunities in the market and/or
to find tech partners.

NUS Enterprise,
the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore and NUS (Suzhou)
Research Institute (NUSRI) is launching BLOCK71 Suzhou today, to help Singapore
companies and start-ups access the innovation ecosystem in Jiangsu.

BLOCK71
is a technology startup hub in Singapore. BLOCK71 Suzhou will act as an
ecosystem builder and global connector for catalysing and aggregating the
start-up community, providing entrepreneurs and tech startups from Singapore
and China with ready co-working spaces. It will also provide support in
exploring business opportunities in China and beyond, connecting them to other
start-ups, mentors, networks and resources. This initiative is aligned to the
Global Innovation Alliance (GIA).
The GIA, which was announced in the Budget
2017
 speech, aims to help Singaporean workers gain overseas
experience, build international networks and create opportunities to
collaborate with innovative overseas counterparts.

BLOCK71 will also be expanded to a second location in Q2
2018, made possible in partnership with Ascendas-Singbridge.

Global eTrade Services (GeTS),
a wholly owned subsidiary of CrimsonLogic, which acts as a single window that connects
to various foreign businesses and government agencies,  is working with the Suzhou Industrial Park
(SIP) to simplify the trade declaration process, making it easier for exporters
to trade with Jiangsu. For this, GeTS is collaborating with Suzhou
Cross-E-Commerce Co. Ltd, the provider of SIP’s Single Trade Window, to link up
their systems. This will save time and cost as both Singapore and Suzhou
exporters and importers can map their trade declaration data to the other
counterpart country’s declaration requirement more accurately. This makes trade
between Singapore and Jiangsu and from Jiangsu to other countries connected to
GeTS, more seamless and efficient for trade.

Singapore professional services players can also leverage
platforms like the National-level Outbound Investment Platform in SIP to
provide support for Jiangsu companies. Law firm, Rajah & Tann, and provider of corporate
services, Boardroom,
are among firms that have been offering professional services to Jiangsu
enterprises for their expansion overseas.

In addition, there are opportunities for Singapore companies
to partner Jiangsu companies in urban renewal as Jiangsu develops “Special
Characteristics Townships”.

Jiangsu is developing sub-urban areas to grow niche
industries and looking to tap into its cultural/historical assets while
preserving them. Building on the successful unveiling of the Suzhou Center in
SIP on 11 November 2017, CapitaLand
indicated during the SJCC meeting today that it is exploring to participate in
the development of “Special Characteristics Townships” in Jiangsu province. The
GIA aims to strengthen linkages and partnerships with leading innovation hubs
around the world, increasing access and opportunities for Singapore students
and enterprises.

Minister Heng said, “The Belt and Road Initiative will drive
trade and economic cooperation, and catalyse the internationalisation of
Chinese enterprises. This brings potential for us to increase trade flows, and
for Singapore and Jiangsu enterprises to jointly expand into Southeast Asia.
There is also room to work together in innovation and technology partnerships
as both Singapore and Jiangsu place greater focus on innovation and R&D
efforts to transform our economies and to drive growth.”

[1] Established in
2007, the SJCC drives trade and investment opportunities between Singapore and
Jiangsu. Jiangsu is the top provincial investment destination for Singapore
companies in China, with Singapore’s cumulative investments into Jiangsu
reaching over S$36.8 billion (US$27.1 billion) as of end-September 2017.
Singapore-Jiangsu trade currently accounts for about 10% of Singapore-China
trade, rising 13.2% year-on-year to reach S$11 billion (US$8.1 billion) in the
first three quarters of 2017.

The SJCC is supported
by International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), secretariat of the SJCC. IE
Singapore is the government agency that promotes international trade and
partners Singapore companies to go global. The agency has adopted an approach
to engage with governments more deeply at the provincial/city level, as seen
from recent collaborations with the governments of Sichuan
and Guangzhou
provinces in China and Gyeonggi province in Korea.
) 

Featured image: Christian Gänshirt/ CC BY-SA 4.0

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