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Singapore-China Bolster Ties in Trade, Sustainability and Innovation

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, alongside Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang, co-chaired the 19th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) and Related Joint Steering Council Meetings in Tianjin which marked a significant milestone in the dynamic partnership between Singapore and China, covering a spectrum of key areas from trade to sustainability, innovation, and beyond.

Before the official proceedings, Deputy Prime Minister Wong and Vice Premier Ding engaged in a bilateral meeting, reinforcing the robust ties between the two nations. This reaffirmation came in the wake of the recent elevation of the relationship to an “All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership.”

The leaders underscored their commitment to utilising the JCBC as a paramount platform for strategic collaboration, acknowledging its pivotal role in steering bilateral cooperation in the right direction.

Amid the challenges posed by global geopolitical tensions, climate change, and the digital revolution, both leaders demonstrated foresight. They directed officials to collaborate in crucial areas such as agriculture, food security, renewable and marine energy, and green and digital shipping. The aim was clear: fortify both countries’ resilience and readiness to confront contemporary challenges.

Green and digital shipping offer a multifaceted approach to revolutionising the maritime industry. By prioritising environmentally friendly fuels, renewable energy sources, and stringent emissions standards, green shipping significantly reduces the industry’s carbon footprint.

Digital technologies, such as IoT and AI, drive operational efficiency through real-time monitoring, optimised routes, and enhanced safety measures. This convergence of green and digital practices not only ensures compliance with evolving regulations but also contributes to cost savings, risk mitigation, and improved market competitiveness.

The integration of smart technologies enhances navigation, communication, and supply chain logistics, positioning the shipping industry as a responsible and innovative participant in the global market while fostering a sustainable and resilient future.

In addition, the 19th JCBC meeting bore fruit with the announcement of 24 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements. These agreements spanned diverse sectors, including trade, sustainability, science and innovation, finance, and public health. Hence, the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA) Further Upgrade Protocol took centre stage, signalling a deepening commitment to economic collaboration.

Deputy Prime Minister Wong and Vice Premier Ding emphasised the need for a forward-leaning approach. They urged both nations to capitalise on emerging opportunities, delivering outcomes that not only benefit their citizens but also contribute to regional prosperity. The renewed focus on the Tianjin Eco-City (TEC) at its 15th anniversary underscored the commitment to fostering green and digital economic opportunities.

In a move to enhance people-to-people links, Singapore and China announced a mutual 30-day visa exemption arrangement. This initiative aims to facilitate easier movement between the two nations, fostering cultural and educational exchanges. Additionally, both sides committed to deepening ties through leadership development and social governance exchanges.

The 24th China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) Joint Steering Council Meeting highlighted the SIP’s role as a leader in collaboration. The achievements in green development, biomedical sciences, innovation, and people-to-people exchanges were lauded. Looking ahead to the SIP’s 30th anniversary, both nations expressed enthusiasm for a 10-year Cooperation Blueprint, charting the course for the SIP’s future.

The discussions and agreements reached during the 19th JCBC and related JSC meetings underscore the enduring strength and depth of the Singapore-China partnership, demonstrating a tangible commitment to achieving shared goals with a lasting impact on the well-being of their people and the broader region.


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