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Singapore, Chongqing partnerships in infocom and media get a boost with new fund

A NEW fund will be set up to support collaborations between companies in Singapore and Chongqing, China in infocommunications and media (ICM), covering technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and blockchain technology.

The China-Singapore ICM Joint Innovation Development Fund, for projects to be jointly developed and implemented in either country, is one of the initiatives under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Enterprise Singapore and Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore with Chongqing Economy and Information Technology Commission. Other areas of cooperation include helping Singapore ICM firms enter Chongqing and developing smart districts in Chongqing.

The MOU was one of several signed on Tuesday between various organisations under the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative (CCI) for collaborations in sectors such as information and communications technology, financial services, tourism and healthcare, at the second day of the FutureChina Global Forum and Singapore Regional Business Forum 2018.

Other MOUs covered, for instance, the establishment of a Chongqing innovation centre for ICM small and medium enterprises, which will provide a landing point for Singapore firms entering the city.

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The signings were witnessed by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, and Chongqing Mayor Tang Liangzhi, who is on his first official visit to Singapore since his appointment as mayor of Chongqing in January.

In a meeting on Tuesday morning, both parties reaffirmed the good progress achieved by the CCI since its launch in 2015, and discussed ways to facilitate the seamless movement of goods between China, Singapore and the rest of the world using the CCI-Southern Transport Corridor. They also acknowledged the growing cooperation between Singapore and Chongqing in areas such as tourism and healthcare.

At the forum, Mr Chan took part in a plenary luncheon focusing on China-Asean connectivity.

Connectivity used to be thought about in just three dimensions: air, land and sea, he noted. Today, Singapore must also consider the additional dimensions of finance, data, talent and technology, he said.

Responding to other panellists' comments on how Asean countries are at different stages of development, Mr Chan made the point that this "can be an opportunity as well", allowing the different markets to complement each other". "Each of us must appreciate our respective strengths."