Singapore and China coming up with ways to deepen connectivity

As the relationship between Singapore and China evolves, the two countries are working together on new areas such as public health and coming up with ways to deepen connectivity, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

The groundwork is being laid now, even as strategies are being drawn up towards a more prosperous future together, he told the press after the 16th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) between Singapore and China.

The JCBC is the highest-level bilateral platform between both countries. It is jointly chaired by DPM Heng, who is also Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng.

Mr Heng identified connectivity, digitalisation and sustainable development as critical areas in which the countries must collaborate in a post Covid-19 world.


"With our two countries having successfully contained our outbreaks, enhancing connectivity will position our countries well for a new normal that is more digital and with greater emphasis on sustainability," said Mr Heng.

Ten memoranda of understanding (MOU) and agreements on health, food safety and environment, among other things, were signed yesterday at the apex meeting.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed how Singapore can continue to contribute to China's development strategies in the region for their bilateral projects, such as the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI).

The Communications and Information Ministry and the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government signed an MOU on the SCI at the JCBC meeting in Chongqing last year.

On the Covid-19 travel measures, Mr Heng added that Singapore and China will be discussing how to better utilise existing fast lanes, increase flight frequency and restore normal people-to-people exchanges at an appropriate time.