Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean co-chaired the 18th SIP JSC, 9th SSTEC JSC, 1st CCI JSC and 13th JCBC meetings with Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Beijing on 27 February 2017.

Before the start of the JSC and JCBC meetings, DPM Teo had a bilateral meeting with Vice Premier Zhang. Both sides had a good discussion on the progress of the bilateral cooperation and explore new areas of collaboration under the "Belt and Road" Initiative.

The 18th SIP JSC meeting reaffirmed the success of the SIP project and its continued role as a pathfinder for China's economic priorities such as the "Belt and Road" Initiative. Both sides discussed the importance of strengthening Singapore-China collaboration in the SIP in areas such as the internationalisation of Chinese companies, innovation, research and intellectual property. Software exchange remains a key element of Singapore's cooperation with SIP. To date, about 3,400 Chinese officials have visited Singapore under the SIP software programme for training and two-way sharing of development experiences.

At the 9th SSTEC JSC meeting, Singapore and China reaffirmed the good progress of the project as shown by the increased vibrancy of the Eco-city and the deepening Sino-Singapore collaborations in sustainable development. Both sides reiterated their commitment to the Eco-city's continued development and success, and agreed to build on the current momentum to achieve even more by the Eco-city's 10th year milestone in 2018. These collaborations involve government, academic and commercial entities, and cover diverse areas including integrated water management, healthcare training, and implementation of smart city master plan, commercialisation of R&D, and animation development and production.

The inaugural CCI JSC meeting commended the good progress that the CCI has achieved since its launch in November 2015. Within a year, cross-border financial flows and aviation connectivity between Singapore and Chongqing have grown significantly. The Chongqing Transport & Logistics Master Plan comprising key recommendations that will strengthen and anchor Chongqing's status as an international hub for multi-modal logistics in inland China was also completed in November 2016. This has led to the inking of several commercial agreements between Singaporean companies and their Chongqing counterparts. The meeting also explored new areas of collaboration which will help develop the newly approved Chongqing Free Trade Zone.

The 13th JCBC meeting reviewed bilateral cooperation in the areas of economic transformation, finance, people-to-people exchanges, and inclusive and sustainable development. The co-Chairs agreed that Singapore and China's ongoing efforts in economic transformation and restructuring present many opportunities for deepening cooperation and exchanges. They identified the "Belt and Road" initiative as a new and significant area of bilateral cooperation. Both sides agreed to explore opportunities for partnerships between Singapore and Chinese companies venturing into regional markets, given Singapore's position as a strategic hub for trade, transportation, finance and project management along the Maritime Silk Road.

Both sides recognised that there is much scope to enhance cooperation at the multilateral level through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, and bilaterally through the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement upgrade, which is an important bilateral initiative agreed between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. On financial services, both sides welcomed the enhancement of cross-border financing channels between Singapore and China, the inclusion of RMB investments as part of Singapore's Official Foreign Reserves in June 2016, and expanding capital market cooperation between regulators and industry players from both sides.

Following the meeting, the co-Chairs witnessed the signing of 4 agreements on: (i) the formation of a Sino-Singapore Joint Expert Panel with the aim to provide advice on Eco-city development; (ii) collaboration between International Enterprise Singapore and the Chongqing Municipal Government to drive transport and logistics developments; (iii) trilateral intellectual property cooperation between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, the State Intellectual Property Office of China and Guangdong Province; and (iv) deepening cooperation in the biomedical sector in the SIP, between the National University of Singapore, the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and the SIP Administrative Committee. There were also 15 other MOUs and agreements on the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative and the Tianjin Eco-City signed at the sidelines of the meetings.

The Singapore delegation was hosted to lunch by Vice Premier Zhang. DPM Teo also had meetings with Chinese leaders. In particular, Central Organisation Department Minister Zhao Leji and DPM agreed that 6th Leadership Forum will be held later this year.

DPM Teo will return to Singapore on 28 February 2017.

Source: Prime Minister's Office Singapore