Singaporean companies are heading to Sichuan to form partnerships with local businesses in the Chinese province, with collaboration efforts spanning medical technology, logistics, and lifestyle. These are initiatives driven by the Singapore Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee (SSTIC), formed in May 1996 as a bilateral economic framework to boost trade relations between the two markets and comprises both public and private organisations.
The latest partnerships were unveiled Wednesday at the 20th SSTIC meeting in Singapore and included the establishment of 17 project agreements, according to Enterprise Singapore, a government agency tasked to help promote local businesses in the global marketplace.
Amongst these were a partnership between Singapore's Mapletree Group and the Jianyang government, which would see the development of a logistics facility in the Sichuan county with an investment of 800 million yuan ($111.46 million). CapitaLand China also inked an agreement with Chengdu Aerotropolis Development Group to jointly develop an integrated project in Chengdu Shuangliu District.
In addition, Kinofy and Mactus Live agreed to organise an O2O (online to offline) project that combined cross-border e-commerce trading and local retail experiential event featuring Singapore brands in China. The first edition was slated to launch in Chengdu next year.
Minister in Singapore's Prime Minister's Office, Ng Chee Meng, said: "Singapore and Sichuan are partnering on innovative medtech solutions to improve diagnostics and delivery of patient care. Singapore companies also continue to find opportunities in Sichuan's transport and logistics, and lifestyle sectors, as our SMEs (small and midsize enterprises) deepen collaborations in Sichuan."
Ng chairs the SSTIC alongside Sichuan's vice governor, Li Yunze.
Specifically in the medtech sector, Singapore businesses have teamed up with West China Hospital to jointly develop products in diagnostics and the delivery of patient care in Chengdu. The hospital had been leading medtech initiatives for the Chinese city.
The healthcare institution on Wednesday inked a new partnership with Singapore's Innovfusion to co-develop a smart system for administering general anaesthesia.
Enterprise Singapore said it was aiming to pave the way for more Singaporean companies to partner West China Hospital in various areas, such as general anaesthesiology, gastroenterology, orthopaedics, and stem cells.
The Singapore government agency also inked an agreement with Sichuan Bureau of Economic Cooperation and Administration Committee of Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone to jointly provide market place in policy innovation and financial assistance.
Enterprise Singapore hopes this initiative will encourage more local companies to set up operations at the former's Singapore Innovation Centre in Sichuan. In fact, Ademco Security Group and Aspiring Citizens CleanTech just signed MOUs to set up operations in the innovation centre from which they would provide smart security and smart transport services, respectively, in Sichuan.
With Chengdu deemed an important transport and logistics node in Western China, fuelled by its trade and commerce, the city's trade and connectivity with Southeast Asia would be further enhanced by its joining of the China-Singapore Connectivity Initiative -New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in July this year.
For one, Singapore logistics operator YCH Group would be signing an agreement to offer its supply chain city offerings to Shuangliu District.
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Some 89 percent of healthcare professionals in Singapore use digital data records, ahead of their peers in Australia and India, but it is behind countries such as China and Saudi Arabia in tapping artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of their diagnoses.
Because investment risks typically are higher and returns slower with startups that deal with deep technology such as artificial intelligence and medtech, venture capitalists in Singapore are less willing to stick their bets in early-stage startups.
Led by Temasek Foundation and Trailblazer Foundation, the initiative will evaluate the use and scalability of exoskeletons in rehabilitation care across various healthcare institutions including a local hospital, nursing home, and stroke support group.