Singapore, Sichuan deepen cooperation in sectors including medtech

SINGAPORE firms forged 17 partnerships with Sichuan companies on Wednesday in a bid to deepen cooperation in sectors such as medical technology, transport, logistics and lifestyle.

Among them was the first example of a partnership in medtech. It is a research collaboration between Singapore-based medtech firm Innovfusion and West China Hospital to co-develop a smart system for the administration of general anaesthesia.

The signing ceremony for the 17 memoranda of understanding (MOU) was witnessed by Singapore’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Ng Chee Meng and Sichuan Vice-Governor Li Yunze at the 20th Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Committee (SSTIC) meeting held at Shangri-La Hotel’s Island Ballroom.

"Despite uncertain global economic conditions, trade between Singapore and Sichuan posted a strong growth of 42.8 per cent year on year to reach US$1.44 billion," Mr Ng said in a Mandarin speech to delegates from Singapore and Sichuan. Singapore has remained Sichuan’s largest investor in 2018.

The two-way flow in trade and investment is testament to Singapore and Sichuan businesses’ ability to constantly innovate and play a useful role in each other’s development priorities, he added.

Mr Ng said SMEs (small and medium enterprises) play an important role in both Sichuan and Singapore economies, noting that Enterprise Singapore brought more than 80 companies from sectors such as food, fintech, education, eldercare, pre-cast construction and lifestyle to Sichuan to seek partners and explore business opportunities.

He also urged Sichuan companies to use Singapore as a platform to expand in South-east Asia and beyond.

"Sichuan companies are strong in construction, engineering, and have significant financial, human and technological resources. Singapore companies have strong networks in the region, complementary strengths in urban solutions, transport and logistics, and modern services. They are also more culturally in-tuned with South-east Asia countries and could help Sichuan partners navigate the local environment," he said.

During the meeting, six companies from Sichuan and Singapore also shared their views on innovation and new business opportunities during a panel discussion.