Both cities will work closely together on new digital cooperation projects and policy sandboxes to create new economic opportunities for people and businesses.
Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have announced four new memorandum of understandings (MoUs) and detailed the early achievements of the first phase of the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI).
Singapore and Shenzhen are committed to developing digital connectivity and test policy innovations to promote the digital economy and create opportunities for businesses in both cities.
Cross-border digital trade
The MoUs aim to help increase collaborations for cross-border digital trade and enable digital transformation using technologies such as e-invoicing, Internet of Things and blockchain. They are also focused on areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI) established in 2019 is growing from strength to strength,” said MCI permanent secretary Yong Ying-I. “Both cities will work closely together on new digital cooperation projects and policy sandboxes to create new economic opportunities for our people and businesses.
“The signing of four more MoUs reaffirms our commitment to continue building a bridge of digital connectivity between Singapore and Shenzhen. The SCI serves as a reference for wider digital and smart city cooperation in the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia.”
In the next phase of SCI, businesses are harnessing the value of digital technologies to bring about greater benefits to the economy. The NCS Next Shenzhen Innovation Centre project sees the creation of three new business partnerships with technology companies in China, inking three MoUs in areas of:
- IoT and blockchain solutions platform
- robotics development
- digital twin-enabled solutions.
These MoUs will facilitate collaboration that will develop new products and solutions that will support the digitalisation of businesses and industries in both cities, including the building of a trusted platform to develop use-cases in manufacturing, trade financing and smart agriculture solutions and products.
NCS Group and its Chinese partners will also be establishing a joint lab to design smart agriculture robots and products, and to develop go-to market solutions.
Additionally, DataPost and Kingdee E-Invoice Solution Technology (Shenzhen) have signed a pilot business-to-business MoU to process electronic invoices for international trade through the Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (Peppol) Electronic Invoicing Framework.
Adopting a common framework will allow businesses in both cities to transact seamlessly, enhancing overall efficiency, and facilitating faster processing times and payments to bring about cost savings. Peppol, an international and standards-based open framework for e-invoicing, is designed to lay a strong foundation for interoperability between businesses in Shenzhen and Singapore as more businesses come onboard and cross-border transactions increase.
“The Smart City Initiative serves as a reference for wider digital and smart city cooperation in the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia”
The smart city initiative is also providing more opportunities for enterprises in the digital economy. The OneSME platform has onboarded 13 partners, 118 Singapore SME suppliers and 163 Chinese enterprise buyers, including Shenzhen SMEs.
The OneSME Hub was launched in September 2020 to facilitate access to a large ecosystem of buyers, sellers, logistics service providers, and financing and digital solution providers. This will help businesses scale up and expand into new markets, as the platform connects B2B platforms in the two countries.
As part of innovation and entrepreneurship promotion, the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) node in Shenzhen was launched in partnership with Chinese accelerator XNode in December 2020. The inaugural batch of 10 companies embarked on the virtual GIA Shenzhen Acceleration Programme, participating in workshops, and engaging in business matching activities.
The second batch of the programme has also started on a rolling basis, with eight companies currently participating in the Acceleration Programme activities, building up an ecosystem of technology start-ups and SMEs across both cities.