PM Lee meets China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng after annual bilateral meeting

PM Lee meets China's Vice Premier Han Zheng after annual bilateral meeting

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday (Nov 2), a day after Singapore and China signed 19 agreements to deepen cooperation

The agreements were signed at the 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting, co-chaired by Mr Han and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

It is the highest-level annual forum between China and Singapore. This year’s edition is the first physical meeting since COVID-19 started, and Mr Han is the most senior Chinese leader to visit Singapore since the pandemic.

“His visit is an opportunity for our countries to take stock of our bilateral cooperation and chart the course for building a more prosperous future for our peoples in an increasingly uncertain global environment,” Mr Heng had said in an op-ed ahead of the meetings.

The bumper crop of 19 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and agreements signed covered areas such as green development and green finance, e-commerce, public health, innovation cooperation and tourism exchanges.

Mr Heng noted at a press conference on Tuesday that there were three broad themes in the new agreements signed, namely green, digital and connectivity.

The green-related agreements included initiatives to expand cooperation in green finance and deepen connectivity between both countries’ capital markets.

For instance, a green finance taskforce will be set up by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the People’s Bank of China.

This would explore options for collaboration in areas such as green and transition financing solutions, data and technology enablers to catalyse green financing flows, and enhance green investment opportunities in China and the region.

A low-carbon index family will also be jointly launched by the stock exchanges of both countries by the year-end. This aims to serve as a benchmark for fund managers to launch new green funds focused on China, ASEAN and other countries in Asia.