Singapore, China pledge new areas of cooperation at high-level bilateral forum
30-Dec-2021 Intellasia |
Singapore and China have pledged to explore new areas of collaboration in particular in digital economy and green development with the signing of 14 agreements at a high-level bilateral forum on Wednesday (December 29).
The 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) was co-chaired by Singapore’s deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat and Chinese vice-Premier Han Zheng.
The meeting was held virtually because of travel restrictions owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The landmark number of 14 memorandums of understanding and agreements announced beat last year’s count of 10.
At the forum, Heng and Han reviewed bilateral cooperation in areas including the Belt and Road Initiative, trade, sustainability, innovation and public health, as well as the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City project.
The two leaders welcomed the good progress made in cooperation between Singapore and China despite the pandemic, including in traditional areas of collaboration ranging from trade and investment to financial cooperation.
To seize the opportunities of the digital age, both sides agreed to include innovation cooperation as a new pillar of collaboration this year, covering the digital economy, smart cities, and science and technology innovation cooperation.
Heng highlighted the importance of restoring connectivity for post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as resuming regular people-to-people exchanges, including by businesses and students.
He also noted that the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, together with Singapore Airlines, was working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China to ensure smooth charter flight operations for the Beijing Winter Olympics, which China will host in February 2022.
Han expressed support for the safe resumption of cross-border travel between Singapore and China, and for officials on both sides to intensify discussions on this front.
The JCBC is the institutionalised annual high-level bilateral platform overseeing and providing direction to Singapore-China cooperation.