24 Nov 2017

MR No.: 054/17

Singapore, Friday, 24 November 2017


  1. Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat officially launched the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) (Beijing) in Beijing, China today, at the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore – CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit 2017. Led by IE Singapore, the GIA (Beijing) effort strengthens connections between Singapore technology companies, entrepreneurs and investors within China’s established digital ecosystem of accelerators, incubators, tech giants, start-ups and venture capitalist funds. This will help more Singapore tech companies access opportunities and find business partners in China, strengthening Singapore’s vibrant local tech sector. (Pls see Annex for Minister Heng’s opening speech at the event)

  2. The GIA was a key recommendation in the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) 2016 report, targeted to strengthen linkages and partnerships with leading innovation hubs around the world, increasing access and opportunities for Singapore students and enterprises. The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) set up a GIA Programme Office (GIA PO) to coordinate the overall initiative with other government agencies.

  3. With the GIA (Beijing), IE Singapore will look to:

    • Establish launchpads for Singapore companies to connect with the business and innovation community in China.

      • This includes access to talent, capital, customers and partners in major innovation hubs within China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Wuhan.

      • In line with this, IE Singapore signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with AIRMaker (accelerator), NTUitive (enterprise arm of NTU) and 36Kr (top Chinese media platform) in September this year. This supports Singapore tech companies through customised accelerator programmes to understand the market, test-bed products and partner with Chinese companies to implement solutions. To date, 32 Singapore startups in fintech, medtech and Internet of Things (IoT) have participated in business missions organised by IE Singapore and partners to showcase and pitch their products and services in China.

      • Today, IE Singapore signed a MOU with CapitaLand and leading Chinese co-working space operator UrWork to customise accelerator programmes to facilitate exchange of ideas between Singapore and China start-ups.

    • Strengthen links between Singapore companies and China technology players to enhance Singapore’s technology and innovation eco-system.

      • IE Singapore partnered CapitaLand on a Tech & Innovation Summit 2017 in Beijing today, where CapitaLand can tap new innovative solutions pitched by Chinese and Singapore start-ups. The session will see nine start-ups pitch to nearly 300 representatives including Chinese government agencies in Beijing, incubators, accelerators, co-working space operators, venture capitalists, research institutes as well as corporations and technology companies. Of these, three are Singapore start-ups, namely M-DAQ1, Smart Cleanand ViSenze3. The pitch competition is based on CapitaLand’s three main scenarios of work, live, and play [working, shopping, living]. Winning teams get to testbed solutions at CapitaLand’s office buildings, shopping malls, residential and integrated developments in both China and Singapore. CapitaLand also entered into a tripartite partnership with IE Singapore and leading Chinese co-working space operator UrWork, which includes the setting up of innovation centres in China to incubate Singapore start-ups.

  4. In the last decade, China has created one of the largest digital economies leading in e-commerce and mobile payments. One in three unicorns in the world is a Chinese company, commanding 43% of the global value of these unicorns4. China will focus on innovation initiatives, and local governments across China are promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialisation of research and development.

  5. Said Mr Ho Chee Hin, IE Singapore’s Group Director for China, “China is a huge market that acts as an attractive end market for Singapore tech companies and partner for co-creating solutions. With China’s innovation ecosystem now a hotbed for technologies and innovation, Singapore companies should consider sourcing for technologies here and adapt them for Asia.


Annex: Minister Heng Swee Keat’s opening speech at the IE Singapore-CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit 2017

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Note to Editor

Please use ‘IE Singapore’ if an acronym for ‘International Enterprise Singapore’ is required. Unless otherwise stated, the use of statistics cited in our media releases, website or Statlink, should be attributed to IE Singapore.


For media enquiries and/or event photos, please contact:

In Beijing

Ms Cheng Kiat Loon

Divisional Director, Media Division

Corporate Communications Group

DID: (+65) 9799 0904

Email: cheng_kiat_loon@iesingapore.gov.sg


In Singapore

Ms Cheryl How

Manager, Media Division

Corporate Communications Group

DID: (+65) 6433 4655

Email: cheryl_how@iesingapore.gov.sg



About International Enterprise Singapore

IE Singapore is the government agency that promotes international trade and partners Singapore companies to go global.

We attract and anchor global trading companies in Singapore by promoting our unique advantages as a global trading hub. Today, Singapore is home to a complete ecosystem for the energy, agri-commodities and metals & minerals trading clusters. Through our network of over 35 overseas centres and comprehensive assistance programmes, we partner Singapore companies to strengthen their global competitiveness.

IE Singapore will merge with SPRING Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore in Q2 2018. Enterprise Singapore will enable the growth of Singapore companies through an integrated support network to build business capabilities and access overseas markets.

Visit www.iesingapore.gov.sg for more information.


About the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA)

The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) is an initiative to establish networks of Singapore and overseas partners in major innovation hubs and key demand markets, with a focus on technology and innovation. The GIA will create more opportunities for students, entrepreneurs and business owners to gain overseas experience, connect and collaborate with their overseas counterparts.

GIA’s programmes will include expanded efforts to expose Singapore students to innovation and entrepreneurship in innovation hubs around the world and emerging markets in the region, as well as Innovation Launchpads to facilitate interactions between Singapore start-ups, small and medium enterprises and large local enterprises, to connect with the business and innovation community in major innovation hubs.

For more information about GIA, please contact:

Ms Juliana Khoo

Head, Marketing & Communications

Singapore Economic Development Board

DID: (+65) 6832 6965

Mobile: (+65) 9682 2932

Email: juliana_khoo@edb.gov.sg



[1] M-DAQ is a fintech company that aims to disrupt multi-currency conversion through its unique algorithms to offer a volume weighted average price for foreign exchange. Its main application scopes are e-commerce/ payment gateway, cross border mobile wallet and international securities trading.

[2] Smart Clean provides end-to-end automatic solutions for Facility Managers, with real-time monitoring and alerting by intelligent algorithms that evaluate toilet cleanliness, standardises cleaning operations and ensures clean toilets at all times.

[3] ViSenze is an artificial intelligence company that develops advanced visual search and image recognition solutions to help businesses in e-commerce, retail, content publishing and online advertising.

[4] Source: McKinsey, Aug 2017