Singapore, China companies ink 13 digital tech deals

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Mr Stephen Ho, managing director of SkyLab Services, at the Singapore Digital pavilion at the Smart China Expo 2019 in Chongqing yesterday. PHOTO: IMDA
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and Mr Stephen Ho, managing director of SkyLab Services, at the Singapore Digital pavilion at the Smart China Expo 2019 in Chongqing yesterday.PHOTO: IMDA

Singapore and Chinese companies yesterday inked 13 deals to cooperate on using digital technologies in education, manufacturing and telecommunications at the annual Smart China Expo in the south-western Chinese city of Chongqing.

These include incorporating advanced technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, in a new learning system for pre-schools, as well as developing analytic solutions for smart manufacturing.

Singtel and StarHub also signed 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," the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said.

"Singtel will also provide its capabilities in cloud, Internet of Things and smart city solutions to help enterprises accelerate their digitalisation," it added in the statement.

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 40.

They include newcomers Singtel and SkyLab, as well as second-timers ST Engineering Electronics, veriTAG, Handshakes and Fooyo.

The Singapore Digital pavilion at the four-day event features 32 companies, showcasing solutions in fintech, urban solutions, artificial intelligence, data analytics, transport and logistics.

"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," he added.

A 40-million yuan (S$7.8 million) fund to support innovative infocomm media projects was also launched at the expo to promote joint partnerships.

Yesterday, IMDA and the Chongqing municipal government also jointly hosted the inaugural "Future of Services" conference.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said Singapore and China could take this opportunity to learn more from each other's experience in preparing workers and firms to harness digital technologies for growth. "In a future economy, where service 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.

Mrs Teo will meet Chongqing party boss Chen Min'er before returning to Singapore today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore, China companies ink 13 digital tech deals'. Print Edition | Subscribe