Trade ministers from Singapore and China have agreed to further explore opportunities in digital trade and the green economy after a virtual meeting on Friday (Aug 20), said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
Enhancing bilateral economic relations was a key focus at the 6th Investment Promotion Committee (IPC) Meeting, co-chaired by Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong and Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao, MTI said in a press release.
The meeting, last held in December 2017, is a platform for Singapore and China to discuss updates on key economic policies and developments, with the goal of deepening investment linkages and collaboration between the countries.
“The IPC meeting is a valuable platform for Singapore and China to explore new opportunities for collaboration as both countries manage the Covid-19 pandemic and seek new growth opportunities,” said Mr Gan after the meeting.
“Today’s meeting reflects the continued strong cooperation between Singapore and China, and shows that there is scope for Singapore and China to bolster economic ties, and provide more opportunities for our businesses and people.”
MTI said that Mr Gan and Mr Wang affirmed the strong and longstanding bilateral economic ties between Singapore and China.
The ministers also spoke about the progress of bilateral projects such as Suzhou Industrial Park, which started in 1994, the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative launched in 2015 and Guangzhou Knowledge City, which broke ground in 2010.
The free trade agreement between China and Singapore, which came into effect in 2009, was acknowledged by the ministers as a cornerstone of economic cooperation.
Both welcomed significant progress made at the subsequent negotiations to upgrade the pact to enhance market access in services and investments, said MTI.
The ministers agreed to continue to work together to uphold a rules-based, multilateral trading environment through platforms such as the Group of 20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact.
They committed to strengthening economic cooperation with the region by enhancing the Asean-China Free Trade Area as well, MTI added.
The ministry noted that China has been Singapore’s largest trading partner since 2013, and Singapore’s largest investment destination since 2007.
The rising global power accounted for about 16 per cent of Singapore’s cumulative direct investment abroad as at the end of 2019.