China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City: Creating a New Highland of Knowledge Creation and Building a Demonstration Zone of Opening up and Cooperation


On November 1, the 18th China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) kicked off in Singapore. The meeting resulted in the signing of 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and cooperation agreements, including the MOU on Developing a Cooperation Framework to Promote Singapore Companies’ Participation in the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKS)’s Industrial Development and Innovation. The meeting also provided a promising path for the future development of the CSGKS located in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

A commission official of CSGKS Cooperation Affairs Office said, the signing of the MOU will contribute the CSGKS to attract more innovative high-tech enterprises from Singapore and other countries, further deepen the cooperation with Singapore in the field of scientific and technological innovation, support Singaporean enterprises in participating fully in the industrial development and innovation of the CSGKS, and polish the CSGKS as the preferred place for Singapore enterprises to invest.

The China-Singapore International Joint Research Institute, which aims to build an important platform for ChinaSingapore cooperation and achievements transformation of scientific and technological innovation, has drawn on the experience and system of Singapore’s industry-university-research integration and formulated nine industrialization systems, including the implementation rules of intellectual property support policies and several regulations on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. It has attracted a group of international high-level talents represented by Nanyang Technological University of Singapore to set up projects in the institute, and promoted the achievements transformation.

The Regulations on CSGKC of Guangdong Province, which came into force on March 1 this year, delegated the authority of national and provincial economic construction management to the Management Committee of CSGKS through legislation, which has made remarkable achievements in ChinaSingapore state-level bilateral cooperation projects.

In June this year, the China-Singapore Smart Park, one of the key projects to deepen cooperation in scientific and technological innovation and the construction of smart cities, was officially opened with a total investment of 1.4 billion yuan. It has introduced more than 60 industrialization projects such as NCS Greater Bay Area Fintech Delivery Center, SP Group, Guangzhou Lion TCR, Star 3D Oral digital Medicine, etc.

Meanwhile, as a carrier of industrial innovation jointly built by China and Singapore, Ascendas OneHub GKC’s Phase I Industrial Park has housed more than 400 enterprises and employed 3,000 people. The Guangzhou Innovation Institute of National University of Singapore is about to recruit students, commit itself to training nearly 3,000 high-level talents over a 10-year period, and shoot for becoming the largest comprehensive flagship project of the National University of Singapore in China.

In recent years, cooperation projects between China and Singapore in key areas such as biomedicine, digital economy and green development have been launched in the CSGKS:

  • In terms of biomedicine, Biosyngen has built the largest commercial production base of immunocellular drugs in South China; Lion TCR (Singapore), the world’s leading TCR-T cell therapy company, plans to build a GMP cell production base and serve as the company’s headquarters in China.
  • In terms of digital economy, NCS, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecom, selected the CSGKS to set up the Greater Bay Area Fintech Delivery Center and the first phase has started operation, which is expected that 500 IT professionals will be stationed at the end of the year to accelerate the development of 5G, digital twins, blockchain and other technologies and build a cross-border innovation ecosystem.
  • In terms of green development, the agreement was signed with SP Group to implement the investment, construction and operation of regional energy projects (including cooling and heating), starting from the Knowledge Tower project, and gradually promote them to other regions such as the China-Singapore International Scientific and Technological Innovation Cooperation Demonstration Zone.
  • In terms of financial services, the MOU of cooperation was signed with the Singapore Exchange to promote the issuance of green bonds by three state-owned enterprises, with a cumulative issuance scale of US $1.34 billion, and deepen the connectivity with the international financial market.

As an important carrier and innovation model of bilateral cooperation between China and Singapore, the CSGKC strives to build an important node in the GBA and become the world’s knowledge economy highland. In the future, the CSGKC will further integrate development strategies of the Belt and Road Initiative and RCEP, continue to improve the level of institutional opening up, deepen cooperation in the digital economy and green development with Singapore, tap the potential of ASEAN countries and other markets, and show the world more new international cooperation programs and prospects full of Chinese wisdom.


China-Singapore Trade in Services Innovation Forum to Discuss New Paths for High-Level Opening-Up


The fourth China-Singapore Trade in Services Innovation Forum, an important official supporting event of the fourth China International Import Expo, was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai yesterday afternoon. It was also the first time that the annual forum was held at the CIIE venue.

This year, the forum took as its theme ‘Digital Empowerment, Create the New Pattern of High-Level Opening-up in Trade in Service.’

How to accelerate the development of digital trade, how to set up and improve the its governance system, and enhance the ability and level of such governance have become the key issues about which all parties are concerned in the process of promoting the high-level development of trade in services.

The forum was hosted by the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government and organized by the Suzhou Municipal People’s Government and Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee. Yicai Media Group provided all-media support as the exclusive media partner.

Chi Fulin, president of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development, delivered a keynote speech entitled ‘Benchmarking International High-Level Economic and Trade Rules,’ that analyzed in detail the paths for the innovative growth of trade in services under the new pattern of development. Chi said that international economic and trade rules are undergoing profound and complex changes and trade in services is becoming the focus of global free trade and the reconstruction of rules. The opening-up process and the interconnection of domestic and foreign benchmarks should be promoted, fair competition in the field of trade in services should be facilitated, and innovative development in trade in services should be strongly spurred.

In the subsequent keynote speech session, Qian Bin, vice president of Bank of Communications and a member of the bank’s Party Committee, shared his view on the ‘Opening-up and Development of Trade in Services Spurred by Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies in the Financial Sector,’ while Li Tao, vice president of Philips Greater China, shared his opinion on ‘Restructuring and Positioning of Multinational Corporations’ Industry Chains Under New Pattern of Development.’ And Wei Zhe, founding partner and chairman of Vision Knight Capital, discussed ‘Systematic Capacity Improvement of Companies Engaged in Trade in Services in the Digital Economy Era.’ [‘CEO Systematic Capacity Improvement in the Digital Economy Era,’ as per the previous story]

Exploring New Paths to Open Up Services

Suzhou Industrial Park, one of the forum’s organizers, is an important collaboration project between the governments of China and Singapore. It boasts the special gene that marks the partnership between China and Singapore, and it has the advantages that are richly endowed by nature in promoting the development of the trade in services and digital trade.

The world’s first special agreement covering the digital economy, the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, was signed by New ZealandSingapore and Chile on June 12 last year. Singapore is also a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that will take effect next Jan. 1 and the country will take over the presidency of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2022.

Last December, China and Singapore also announced follow-up talks on upgrading the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement to focus on negotiations over trade in services and investment liberalization by adopting a negative list, to further liberalize and facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

Chua Teng Hoe, consul-general of the Republic of Singapore in Shanghai, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Service Industry Development between the People’s Government of Suzhou at the forum. Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bank of Communications and the Suzhou Industrial Park also penned a strategic agreement, and 21 groups of company representatives in three batches inked contracts at the forum.

Suzhou became a pilot city for China to experiment with service trade innovative development in 2006. The Suzhou Industrial Park is a leader in service trade development in the city and even Jiangsu province, and in recent years has been hitting new record highs in the scale of services trade with better structure and higher quality.

Yang Yudong, editor-in-chief of Yicai Media Group, attended a roundtable brainstorming with representatives of companies and institutions in Shanghai and Suzhou at the forum on the topic of ‘Vision under the New Pattern of Shanghai-Suzhou Integrated Development: Digital Technology Rebuilding the Global Industrial Chain.’

Innovative development of digital technology has greatly improved the tradability of cross-border services and rebuilt the globe’s industrial and value chains, according to guests at the brainstorming. Digital trade is developing rapidly, and new digital industries, new business forms, and new patterns have emerged. Regional development also provides great opportunities for the development of digital trade. Building a service trade cluster in the Yangtze River Delta region is a demand and an opportunity against the backdrop of integration of the region, especially the Shanghai-Suzhou integrated development.