SINGAPORE - Singapore and Chinese companies on Monday (Aug 26) inked 13 deals to cooperate on using digital technologies in education, manufacturing and telecommunications at the annual Smart China Expo in the southwestern city of Chongqing.
These include a collaboration to incorporate advanced technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) in a new learning system for pre-schools, as well as developing analytic solutions for smart manufacturing.
Singapore's telecommunications companies Singtel and StarHub also signed respective memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the three main Chinese mobile network operators - China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom - to deepen cooperation.
"The MOUs will pave the way for improving data connectivity between the two cities, and position both Singapore and Chongqing as strategic hubs for enterprises to expand into the Asia Pacific region and western China respectively," said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in a statement.
"Singtel will also provide its capabilities in cloud, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smart city solutions to help enterprises accelerate their digitalisation," it added.
Nearly 70 Singapore companies took part in the Smart China Expo this year, an increase of more than 50 per cent from last year's showing of 40 companies.
The delegation this year includes new participants such as Singtel and IoT data logistic solutions provider SkyLab, as well as companies such as ST Engineering Electronics, veriTAG, Handshakes and Fooyo, who are joining the event for a second time.
The Singapore Digital pavilion at the four-day event features 32 Singapore companies, showcasing solutions in fintech, urban solutions, AI, data analytics, transport and logistics, said IMDA.
"Chongqing and the western region of China are important markets for Singapore-based technology enterprises," said IMDA chief executive Tan Kiat How.
"We are also seeing more Chinese enterprises expanding into South-east Asia and they are looking for like-minded business partners for the region. The annual Smart China Expo is an important platform for our companies to showcase their products and services, and explore partnership opportunities with Chinese enterprises," he added.
A 40-million yuan fund to support innovative infocomm media projects was also launched at the expo to promote joint partnership between Singapore and Chinese companies. These projects, which are to be jointly developed and implemented in Singapore or China, may include research and development, and pilots to promote innovative technologies such as machine learning and deep learning, IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality, robotics, and blockchain technology.
On Monday, IMDA and the Chongqing municipal government also jointly hosted the inaugural "Future of Services" conference.
In a speech delivered at the conference, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said Singapore and China could take this opportunity to learn more from each other's experience in preparing the workers and companies to harness digital technologies for future growth.
"In a future economy, where services sectors play such an important role, we believe Singapore's efforts in creating a trusted and vibrant B2B (business-to-business) ecosystem, coupled with our extensive business networks in the Asia-Pacific region, will place us in a good position to partner Chongqing and China," she said.