Singapore and Shenzhen strengthen smart city cooperation

  • December 6, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Singapore and Shenzhen have strengthened their joint smart city work with 14 new projects.

These are part of the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative that was first signed in 2019.

Singapore’s Ministry of Communications & Information (MCI) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) also announced the inking of eight memorandums of understanding (MoUs) at the third Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) meeting last month.

The JIC is co-chaired by Singapore’s permanent secretary for communications and information Joseph Leong, and mayor of Shenzhen Qin Weizhong. The meeting reported a doubling of the number of new joint projects compared with the previous year, as the initiative enters its third year of implementation.

These new projects will deepen the ongoing collaboration between Singapore and Shenzhen in enabling digital transformation and policy innovation, and create opportunities for businesses and people in research and innovation, trade, sustainability, and talent development.

“The Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative, launched in 2019, has built stronger digital and business linkages between Singapore and Shenzhen,” said Leong. “Despite challenges of the pandemic over the past three years, both sides have worked hard to enhance the initiative as an effective platform for digital innovation, smart city cooperation, and business and people exchanges. Singapore and Shenzhen will actively promote a conducive business environment for companies to innovate and conduct cross-border transactions safely and smoothly, as we strengthen our economic recovery and resilience.”

One of the key areas of cooperation in the past year has been the facilitation of digital trade through the use of electronic bills of lading (eBLs). IMDA and Shenzhen’s Bureau of Commerce have assessed the results of successful technical trials on trade in the past year, and both sides are now poised to expand IMDA’s TradeTrust pilot with live commercial transactions involving banks, shippers and other partners. This would pave the way for full digitalisation of the trade supply chain and bring the benefits of faster and more secured digital trade transactions to the ecosystem.

IMDA has also been deepening collaboration with TusStar, a technology incubator in China with an innovation network of more than 10,000 companies. In this next phase, TusStar will increase its regional presence in south-east Asia by establishing hub operations in Singapore and expanding its network in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality, and sensor technology. This partnership will connect technology start-ups from Singapore, Shenzhen and other cities in China to new markets in the region.

The 14 new joint projects reflect the transformative role of digital technologies across the initiative’s focus areas of digital connectivity, talent exchange and development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Notable projects feature the use of technologies and AI for the green economy and sustainability, such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, and enhancing battery management for electric vehicles.

To date, 29 projects have been initiated and 21 MoUs have been signed under the initiative. This strong momentum in collaboration is a testament to Singapore’s and Shenzhen’s roles in digital economy development, and the potential for innovative projects to be scaled to more cities in south-east Asia and the Greater Bay Area.

The 14 new projects are:

  • IMDA-TusStar Xchange on aiding technology start-up ecosystem landing in both countries.
  • Shenzhen-Singapore joint innovation call to promote and provide funding support for R&D and innovation projects between Shenzhen and Singapore enterprises, particularly in areas such as smart cities, green technology and digital economy.
  • Cross-border ecommerce cooperation to establish an ecommerce ecosystem with platform partners, trade associations and chambers, and ancillary services providers.
  • Cross-border trade big-data platform to explore the exchange of trade data to improve the efficiency of cross-border trade.
  • Demonstration zone to explore opportunities in an experimental business zone to facilitate financial, logistics and IT services.
  • Singapore-Qianhai talent cooperation to promote international talent development and entrepreneurship opportunities in Qianhai, Shenzhen.
  • AEO mutual recognition cooperation to facilitate customs clearance of goods traded between Singapore and Shenzhen.
  • Shenzhen-Singapore new-energy vehicle smart platform to develop an AI deep learning model on battery health for electric vehicles.
  • A*STar collaborative commerce marketplace collaboration to enrich the innovation ecosystem among Shenzhen-Singapore enterprises.
  • NUS-CIMC CCUS (carbon dioxide capture, use and storage) research to develop a means of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from a ship’s engines.
  • NUS-STIC CO2 subsea carbon sequestration to develop AI-enabled carbon dioxide capture and sequestration technology in an offshore marine environment.
  • Singapore-Shenzhen smart library cooperation to exchange best practices and innovation in library development and technology.
  • Yanlord development cooperation to develop a smart business park, Yanlord Eco-Tech City, in Shenzhen.
  • Fintech cooperation to explore digital services and ecosystem networking for financial institutions.