Singapore and China strengthen digital connectivity

Government agencies on both sides are co-developing regulatory sandboxes to facilitate cross border data flows.

At the apex annual bilateral platform between both countries, the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI) has progressed in strengthening digital connectivity to grow Singapore’s digital economy.

A pilot on paperless cross-border trade is on track to commence as early as first quarter of 2021. The project aims to achieve mutual recognition of electronic trade documents such as electronic Bill of Lading for seamless cross-border trade transactions. Some of the 14 participants of the pilot include DBS, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Communication, China Construction Bank, PIL and GUUD.

Good progress was also made in cross-border data management. With growing importance of data connectivity to support trade and digital innovation between Singapore and China, government agencies on both sides are co-developing regulatory sandboxes to facilitate cross border data flows of priority projects related to digital identity and digital trade.

Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said, the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI), will be an “important pathfinder” to expand and deepen linkages between both countries.

“Singapore and Shenzhen have made good progress on the SCI in the short time since its launch last year,” he said. “Singapore looks forward to deepening our digital collaborations with China, particularly in partnering Shenzhen as it embarks on a new phase of pilot reforms.

Amidst the uncertain global environment, Singapore will continue to work with partner countries like China, in building bridges and enhancing cooperation to build better lives, both in our countries and the region, to support post-pandemic recovery”.

Further progress on several SCI projects to help businesses innovate and tap on growth opportunities were made:

  • Enterprise Singapore appointed X-Node as its Global Innovation Alliance Acceleration Programme partner in Shenzhen to help Singapore technology start-ups and SMEs set up and form business connections and partnerships in China through Shenzhen. Tech companies in Singapore have indicated early interest to participate in GIA Shenzhen. The first batch of participants is expected to be finalised by early 2021.
  • To offer more convenient and efficient cross-border dispute resolution services for companies in Singapore, China and Southeast Asia, Maxwell Chambers and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore leveraging technology to facilitate cross-border dispute resolution.
  • In a move to streamline trade finance processes digitally, homegrown firm Yang Kee Logistics, alongside with DBS and China export credit insurer Sinosure, conducted a trial shipment where Yang Kee estimated some cost savings of between US$17,000 to US$70,000 for the company.
  • OneConnect Financial Technology and IMDA jointly launched OneSME, a platform that connects Singapore businesses to a buyer base of 4 million businesses in China for sales and partnership opportunities in September 2020

SIC will also be a base to jointly develop digital projects with partners in the Greater Bay Area for China and Southeast Asia.



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