Build on solid foundation for Singapore-China collaboration in Greater Bay Area: Ong Ye Kung

Building on the solid start in the Greater Bay Area will help to unlock potential for both Singapore and China, said Mr Ong Ye Kung. PHOTO: BUSINESS CHINA

SINGAPORE - As new trends emerge in sectors such as manufacturing and finance, Singapore and China can build on their solid start in China's Greater Bay Area (GBA) to unlock potential on both sides, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.

These include getting a head start on channelling capital towards sustainable infrastructure development, or working towards the highly digitalised future of manufacturing, he added.

Mr Ong also called for talent exchanges in the form of internships - especially among the young - to meet the needs of the future economy.

"While the pandemic has changed our way of living, advancements in technology and innovation have not slowed down during this time," he said in Mandarin on Monday (July 12) at the two-day FutureChina Global Forum.

"This crisis has instead provided greater impetus for us to relook our practices and mindset, and push us to explore ways of living and working which are more effective and sustainable."

In his speech at the hybrid event, Mr Ong outlined eight areas in which both countries can cooperate, including in the intellectual property (IP) realm as well as on biomedical research.

Companies in the GBA can leverage Singapore's patent acceleration programmes with global and Asean partners to complement their overseas expansions, Mr Ong suggested.

Singapore has consistently topped the Asia-Pacific rankings of the Global Innovation Index, while the GBA - a grouping of nine southern Chinese cities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau - has one of the highest numbers of IP filings and international patent applications in China.

Mr Ong added that the global push towards sustainability opens more doors for collaboration. These could include sharing best practices gleaned from solutions developed in areas such as transport, water and waste management, and energy efficiency.

Mr Ong, who co-chairs the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council with Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui, also highlighted the importance of promoting interaction between innovation ecosystems.

He noted how efforts have been made to support local companies venturing into new markets such as Shenzhen under Singapore's Global Innovation Alliance, with China setting up a similar launchpad for Chinese companies to expand their operations here.

Focusing on these areas will allow for "a comprehensive, in-depth and strategic approach" and enable both sides to make the most of new opportunities despite the crisis, Mr Ong added.

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