SINGAPORE - Collaboration between Singapore and the South China province of Guangdong is expected to continue growing, focusing on areas such as smart city development and intellectual property protection.
These were among priorities laid out by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung and Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui on Friday (Aug 24), during the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council's ninth meeting.
Mr Ong and Governor Ma co-chair the council, and its meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel was attended by over 200 government and business representatives from Singapore and Guangdong.
"Looking ahead, and especially with the development of the Greater Bay Area, we will go beyond traditional sectors to collaborate on innovation, modern services and high technology sectors like biomedical sciences," said Mr Ong on Friday.
The Greater Bay Area project is China's national strategy to link nine cities in the Guangdong Pearl River Delta Economic Zone with Hong Kong and Macau.
Under China's Belt and Road initiative, the aim is to form an 11-city cluster specialising in advanced manufacturing and finance and trade, among other areas.
Mr Ong added: "We can work together on developing smart cities, strengthening intellectual property protection and commercialisation, and developing talent."
He expects cooperation and the relationship between both parties to continue growing, noting that the province is on the front line of Chinese economic reform - towards China's vision of being a fully developed and advanced nation by 2049.
Similarly, Governor Ma noted both parties' potential for cooperation, highlighting Singapore's "experience in globalisation, its talents, tip-top education system, as well as its manufacturing, technical and financial systems" as compared to Guangdong's more mature economy and strength in manufacturing.
Mr Ong said: "In the past few years, we have seen Guangdong's rapid progress, and are happy to witness Singapore's role in this development process."
He also urged organisations to seek out more opportunities to work together.
Collaboration between Singapore and its top Chinese provincial trading partner of 29 consecutive years continues.
On Friday, 14 Singapore organisations signed deals with partners in Guangdong - in the areas of transport, education and training, as well as professional services.
They include an agreement by local e-scooter start-up Neuron Mobility with the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co. and property developer Ascendas-Singbridge to set up a centre supporting research and development.
They will also pilot last mile transport solutions within the knowledge city, the development of which is a focus of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council.
Meanwhile, state-owned consultancy Surbana Jurong and Guangzhou Academy of Special Equipment agreed on an extension of a smart lift monitoring project, while Surbana (Shanghai) Planning and Design Consultants and Ping An Trust inked a long-term partnership for the development of industrial new towns.
In the education sector, computer and training consultancy ACP signed an agreement with Guangzhou Bizsmart Software Co. to build a bilingual programming platform for children. Online learning platform Bamboo System Technology agreed to work with Guangzhou education technology firm Yuxiutang on a system aggregating vocational training content for schools and enterprises.
Bilateral trade between Singapore and Guangdong grew 10.3 per cent year-on-year to reach $29.7 billion in 2017.
As of the end of last year, the Republic's total cumulative actual investments in the province hit $15.9 billion, with 2,761 projects.
Governor Ma is on a four-day business mission and is expected to call on Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Friday.