Green Development: Singapore and China sign bilateral cooperation agreements

Singapore and China reached 14 deals at Wednesday’s (Dec 29) Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting, the biggest haul in recent years from this high-level platform set up in 2004.

Among them are these agreements:

Urban governance

Singapore’s Ministry of National Development (MND) and China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to continue sharing knowledge and experience on urban governance, planning and management.

There will be visiting fellowship programmes for senior officials and promising young officials, study visits, joint research and publications and platforms to exchange knowledge.

Another similar MOU was inked between MND and the Development Research Centre of the State Council to extend an existing deal to exchange knowledge in urban governance, sustainability, liveability and digitalisation.

A new programme, the Young Leaders Fellowship Programme, will be launched under this new agreement.

Green development

Singapore’s Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment will work on a joint paper that will chart how they can collaborate on green and low-carbon development. This includes plastic and e-waste management and low-carbon technologies.

Garden City in Tianjin

Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) will help turn Tianjin Eco-city into a “garden city” with more greenery-related infrastructure, such as a green belt that is a linear park, and park connectors.

Nature conservation

NParks and China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, which have been collaborating on conservation issues, including illegal wildlife trade, have agreed to expand their cooperation to other areas such as biodiversity conservation and the management of parks and greenery.

These could come in the form of joint projects, workshops and training.

Cultural cooperation

Singapore’s Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism will embark on the ninth edition of their executive programme that allows for cultural exchanges, including in the arts, research and heritage conservation.


Singapore Customs and its Chinese counterpart will set up a system using blockchain to exchange trade and Customs-related information. For instance, Customs clearance and logistics status information for containerised trade between the two countries will be available to traders and logistics companies, and help them manage their supply chains better.

Competition law

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore and China’s State Administration for Market Regulation will set up a cooperation framework for exchanging information, sharing experience and developing competition policies and law in both countries and the region.

Maritime digitalisation

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority and China’s Maritime Safety Administration have agreed to expand their cooperation on electronic certificates, which will now cover not just ships but seafarers too. This will help speed up port clearance at ports in either country.

‘Internationalisation Corridor’

Suzhou Industrial Park and JTC Corporation will set up an innovation hub at one-north business park to tap the research institutes and start-ups there. The aim is to support Singapore and Chinese companies as they expand into each other’s markets and the region.

Research Translation and Innovation Institute

The NUS Guangzhou Research Translation and Innovation Institute will be set up in Guangzhou. It will plug into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, which the Chinese government envisions as an economic powerhouse linking cities in the south.

The institute aims to train more than 3,200 PhD and master’s students, post-doctoral fellows and professionals from China in the next decade. 

CMG20211229-Darwis01 陈渊庄/ 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation and Related Joint Steering Council Meetings [Expo]
Singaporean Ministers at the 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation. From left: Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo  PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SOURCE: The Straits Times, 29 Dec 2021.

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