The Singapore government has launched a new initiative in China that will deepen ties between the tech ecosystems of both countries.

Called the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) (Beijing), the initiative will be spearheaded by IE Singapore, a government agency which is tasked to build the city-state into an international trading hub.

This is the first overseas initiative set up by the GIA Programme Office (GIA PO), which was set up to foster entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities between Singapore and countries with strong digital hubs.

With tech giants BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) ratcheting up their influence and investments regionally as well as globally, the Chinese market is an ideal fit for GIA’s criteria.

GIA (Beijing) will help connect Singapore companies to talent, investors, customers and partners in major innovation hubs within China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Wuhan.

“The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) seeks to strengthen linkages between Singapore students and enterprises with leading innovation hubs around the world,” said Singapore Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat, who announced the GIA (Beijing) initiative at the at the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore – CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit 2017, in Beijing.

“This is achieved through a network of alliances and partnerships to create more opportunities for tertiary students, entrepreneurs and business leaders to gain overseas experience; as well as connect and collaborate with overseas partners,” said Heng.

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Heng said that Singapore’s tertiary institutions will be sending more students to China to connect and learn from overseas entrepreneurs and innovators.

Startups, on the hand, will be able to network with various ecosystem stakeholders, such as accelerators, incubators, and VCs. Corporates will also be able to explore and onboard new technologies developed overseas.

Last month, IE Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with IoT accelerator AIRmaker; NTUitive, the enterprise arm of NTU; and Chinese media platform 36Kr, to bring Singapore-based deeptech and medtech companies to tap on China’s ecosystem players — such as co-working spaces, mentors and curated accelerator programmes.

CapitaLand secures new partnership in China

At the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore – CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit 2017 , IE Singapore also signed a MOU with CapitaLand and Chinese co-working space operator UrWork to develop accelerator programmes to connect Singapore and Chinese startups and incubate startups in Chinese innovation centres.

Additionally, CapitaLand signed a new strategic alliance with China UnionPay to enhance its CapitaStar payment app.

The app’s four million users in China will soon be able to scan QR codes on their CapitaStar app to make payments from their China UnionPay account.

Pitching session

Besides the inking of new partnerships and alliances, the event also hosted a pitching session that saw nine startups present to over 300 representatives from across the spectrum of China’s ecosystem.

Three of these Singapore-based startups. They were: M-DAQ, a forex trading platform; Smart Clean, a virtual cleaning supervisor; and ViSenze, an AI startup that develops visual technology for companies.

The winners will get to testbed their solutions at CapitaLand’s office buildings, shopping malls, residential and integrated developments in both China and Singapore.

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