Speaking at the second Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council meeting on Friday (Dec 11), Minister for Education and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong outlined three areas where the networks between the two financial centres can be enhanced: financial connectivity, transport and supply chain, and innovation.
The meeting, which was co-chaired by Mr Wong and Shanghai mayor Gong Zheng, was held virtually.
“As international financial centres, Singapore and Shanghai can work together to galvanise the growth of our economies and deepen regional integration,” Mr Wong said.
The Chinese city continues to be at the forefront of China’s reform and opening up of its economy, including through initiatives like the development of the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone and the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region, he noted.
The successful registration of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) representative office in Shanghai, launched on Friday, is a testament to sound and sustainable financial ties between Singapore and Shanghai, Mr Wong added.
It is the MAS’ second representative office in China and it is the second central bank to have established offices in both Beijing and Shanghai.
Mr Wong said Singapore and Shanghai should continue to deepen their financial connectivity, such as through stronger linkages between their capital markets, further collaboration on cross-border renminbi initiatives, and greater fintech collaboration among their financial institutions.
On transport and supply chains, he highlighted how Singapore and Shanghai are among the most connected cities in the world and gateways to their respective regions.
“As close partners, I hope that Shanghai can be one of the earlier regions in China where we can resume air travel and people flows. With Singapore and Shanghai’s experience in managing the pandemic, both sides can exchange best practices on how to enhance our connectivity in a safe and orderly manner.”
On Friday, 10 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed, including one between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Shanghai Maritime University to enable talent exchanges in the maritime sector.
The Singapore Exchange (SGX) inked two agreements, with the China Central Depository & Clearing and Guotai Junan Securities, to develop areas such as mutual investor access in Singapore and China, as well as promote listings of Chinese enterprises on SGX.
At the meeting on Friday, the National University of Singapore and Shanghai Jiao Tong University launched a joint laboratory for energy and environmental sustainability solutions for mega-cities.
The lab will focus on emerging environmental contaminants and allow the two institutions to test the project’s technologies at test-beds in Shanghai, with potential opportunities in other parts of China.
Mr Wong said that amid the pandemic, Singapore and Shanghai could also further explore collaboration in healthcare and biomedical sciences innovation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how they work and connect with one another, he said.
“But it has not diminished the shared desire for Singapore and Shanghai to work hand in hand.”