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Shenzhen, Singapore boost SME support in APAC with new smart city initiative

The Smart City Initiative (SCI) meeting and outcomes show the relentless commitment of both sides towards providing greater digital connectivity due to a prevailing need amid COVID-19 which they have said has become more pertinent during the pandemic.

The initiative focuses on three key pillars for smart city development which include: digital connectivity; innovation and entrepreneurship; and tech talent exchange and development.

The SCI aims to provide businesses and individuals with greater support in an economy characterized by technological development and immense digitalization. Indeed, the digital economy has transformed the business ecosystem and the consumer landscape.

In an effort to aid businesses in their innovation journey and capitalize on newfound opportunities for growth, an SME Hub will be established. This Asian SME Hub plans to ensure SME access to a larger ecosystem of buyers, service providers, sellers, financing and digital solutions to help them grow.

The initiative which is expected to go into operation by next month, aims to facilitate border control partnerships with great trust in order for SMEs to expand and grow into new markets within the Asia-Pacific region.

To begin with, 50 SMEs will sell industrial hardware, safety, medical and office supplies on digital B2B platform Eeezee.sg. This platform is actually supported by the Grow Digital Initiative and will ensure access to a buyer/seller base of almost four million SMEs.

“The Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Initiative has produced substantial positive outcomes just months after its launch last year, in spite of the COVID-19 situation,” said Yong Ying-I, permanent secretary of MCI.

“Indeed, COVID-19 has accelerated the place of digitalization in our economies. Singapore will continue to work with like-minded partners like Shenzhen, to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in digital economies, and to enhance trade and connectivity to create exciting opportunities for businesses, communities and individuals,” he added.

Chen Rugui, mayor of Shenzhen Municipality, stated that the meeting contributed a great deal to the elevation of the SCI to the next level.

“Shenzhen will follow the principles of ‘cooperation for mutual benefits, government-guided, enterprise-led and market-based approach’, to comprehensively deepen the SCI cooperation between Singapore and Shenzhen, accelerate the implementation of cooperation projects in areas such as digital trade, digital payment, cross-border data management, and mutual recognition of digital identities,” said Rugui.