Opportunities abound for Singapore companies making a foray into Guangdong, China's most populous province with more than 100 million people.
At the 7th Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council Meeting held in Guangzhou yesterday, a total of 14 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed to boost collaboration.
The meeting was co-chaired by Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence Lui Tuck Yew and Guangdong Vice-Governor Zhao Yufang.
Singapore's investments in Guangdong hit a new record last year, reaching US$1.27 billion (S$1.7 billion), and accounted for one-fifth of the Republic's total investments in China.
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore highlighted intellectual property (IP) rights and consumer-related sectors as areas Singapore firms can consider.
"As Guangdong transforms into a knowledge-based economy, we are partnering it to develop the IP ecosystem at Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC)," said Mr Lui.
The Singapore Centre at SSGKC was officially opened on Wednesday and will be a one-stop service platform for Singapore companies venturing into China.
These firms can get assistance in the areas of investment consultancy, government facilitation and business matching, as well as enjoy streamlined registration.
Mr Lui said that the SSGKC will be an "attractive base for knowledge enterprises to grow in China". He is on a trip to Guangzhou and Foshan with a 63-strong business delegation comprising 35 companies.
IE Singapore said Guangdong has crossed the US$10,000 gross domestic product per capita threshold. With rising disposable income, people in Guangdong are seeking more options in retail, food, hospitality and education.
Singapore-listed technology firm Equation Summit signed separate agreements with two state-owned media enterprises in Guangdong yesterday.
It will work with Guangdong Southern Media Corporation, the equivalent of MediaCorp in Singapore, to create an app that enables consumers to do online shopping (for television purchases) using their mobile phones, said its chief executive officer Eddie Chng.
The firm will also collaborate with Zhujiang Film and Media Corporation, southern China's No. 1 cinema operator, to create an app that will enable moviegoers to make in-movie purchases.
Another Singapore firm, Kidz Education City, which is a consortium of five enrichment providers, is partnering Guangzhou Pearl River Online Multimedia Information to open its first children enrichment centre in Baiyun District, Guangzhou, in November.
The Chinese company is a subsidiary of Guangdong's leading cable TV operator.
Children aged 12 and below can enjoy music and dance lessons, among other offerings, at the enrichment centre.