S'pore biomedical, professional services firms to gain from new tie-ups with China's Jiangsu province

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah speaking during the 14th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council meeting on Nov 18, 2020. PHOTO: ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - A new centre has been launched in the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), providing more opportunities for biomedical firms in Singapore to expand into the Chinese market.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and SIP launched the A*Star Partners' Centre virtually on Wednesday (Nov 18).

The centre aims to help Singapore biomedical start-ups capture opportunities in Jiangsu and the greater Yangtze River Delta region, which Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah noted has the most established biomedical ecosystem in China.

Ms Indranee, who is co-chair of the Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council, said that the biomedical and professional services industries are areas in which Singapore and Jiangsu can tap each other's strengths and deepen collaboration as they develop their economies post Covid-19.

Speaking at the 14th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council meeting on Wednesday, Ms Indranee noted that Singapore's biomedical industry is growing rapidly, with total output expanding at an annual average of 5.2 per cent from $28.2 billion in 2014 to $36.2 billion in 2019.

"Our cooperation in healthcare and biomed is especially important in this era of Covid-19. Both sides can work together to facilitate the commercialisation of biomedical research and innovation in and through our respective markets," she said.

Nine Singapore biomedical firms are setting up their operations in the centre in SIP to start.

Firms will receive cost savings in equipment rental by accessing the centre's facilities, as well as funding support through the A*Star-SIP Green Lane Grant, and tap market access programmes to better understand the needs of the Chinese market and navigate the regulations there.

In her speech, Ms Indranee said that Singapore has managed to sustain trade and investment momentum with Jiangsu despite the challenging circumstances this year.

Bilateral trade between the two grew 1.6 per cent year on year to reach US$9 billion ($12.1 billion) between January and August 2020.

Outlining how Singapore and Jiangsu can collaborate in professional services, Ms Indranee emphasised the importance of access to quality and a broad suite of professional services in setting up an overseas presence.

Moves have been made to bolster business exchanges between Singapore and Jiangsu, she added.

On Wednesday, Enterprise Singapore, Singapore's Economic Development Board and the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate more partnerships between Singapore professional services firms and Chinese enterprises.

This will allow Singapore firms to explore new opportunities in the Yangtze River Delta region, and also allow Chinese firms to use Singapore as a launchpad to broaden their reach in South-east Asia.

Another 10 MOUs were signed at the meeting on Wednesday, including an agreement which will see Mapletree Logistics invest in a project in Changshu, Suzhou.

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