Singapore and Sichuan have witnessed substantial growth in their economic ties despite global uncertainties. Bilateral trade between the two regions surged by 38.9% year-on-year, reaching an all-time high of US$2.7 billion in 2022.
Singapore also emerged as Sichuan’s largest foreign investor, with cumulative actual investments of approximately US$4.2 billion across 737 projects. In light of this successful partnership, the 23rd Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee (SSTIC) meeting was recently held in Chengdu, Sichuan.
The meeting aimed to further explore business collaborations between the two regions. Notably, this event marked the first in-person Provincial Business Council meeting to be held in China since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boosting collaboration in the Green Economy
Singapore and Sichuan share a common vision of developing a green and sustainable economy. Singaporean companies have actively supported Sichuan in its green transformation journey. For instance, SP Group (SP) collaborated with the Wuhou district in Chengdu to create a smart-eco district, offering solutions in district cooling and heating, as well as smart energy monitoring and management.
Building on this success, SP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chengdu Wuhou State-owned company, Capital Investment Group. The agreement aims to foster collaboration in urban renewal projects related to energy and utility management, along with solar power initiatives. Additionally, discussions during the meeting focused on how more Singaporean companies could support Sichuan’s green development, particularly in urban planning and green energy management.
Progress in key thematic areas
The meeting acknowledged the significant progress made in three key areas: the Belt and Road Initiative (trade and connectivity), Innovation, and the Internationalization of SMEs.
- Trade and connectivity: Apeiron Bioenergy signed an MOU with Longchang Yuanju Oil to process used cooking oil and waste oil into biodiesel products for export to markets such as Europe.
- Innovation: InnoVen Capital China signed a “Cooperation Framework Agreement” with Ziyang Major Industry Equity Investment Fund, pledging support for high-growth technology and healthcare startups, and driving their development in Sichuan Province.
- Internationalization of SMEs: To facilitate increased collaboration between Singaporean and Sichuan companies, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Sichuan Representative Office signed an MOU with the General Association of Sichuan Entrepreneurs. Both associations committed to jointly organizing events, facilitating delegation visits, and promoting business matching.
Minister Tan’s perspective
Minister Tan See Leng, Singapore’s Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, expressed satisfaction with the growing economic relations between Singapore and Sichuan. He highlighted the importance of the SSTIC in fostering closer collaboration and encouraged companies to leverage this platform for exploring new opportunities, particularly in the emerging green economy.
Minister Tan also discussed the significance of enhancing connectivity, including air links, to boost trade and people-to-people exchanges, benefiting both enterprises and individuals in both regions.