On April 12, 2018, Minister Wang Zhigang of the Ministry of Science and Technology met with a Singaporean delegation headed by Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of National Development, who attended the opening ceremony of the 2018 China-ASEAN Year of Innovation in Beijing. Singapore currently holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN and the seat as coordinator in China-ASEAN relations. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on China-Singapore cooperation in science and technology innovation and reached consensuses on mutually promoting bilateral inter-governmental cooperation in science and technology and strengthening of regional cooperation in innovation between China and ASEAN.
Minister Wang Zhigang pointed out that this year is the China-ASEAN Year of Innovation affirmed by leaders of both sides and the 15th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partnership between China and ASEAN. China thoroughly implements an innovation-driven development strategy and puts science and technology innovation higher on its agenda. Innovation is the primary driving force to lead the development and a strategic support for establishing a modern economic system. Singapore has put forward“resilience and innovation”as the ASEAN Theme of the Year. Both sides have made science and technology innovation as important means to sustainable economic and social development. Standing at a new historical starting point, he added, China is willing to work with Singapore to explore effective ways to deepen bilateral cooperation in science and technology innovation, and engage in pragmatic cooperation centering on China-ASEAN Science and Technology Partnership Program and the Belt and Road Science and Technology Innovation Action Plan.
Minister Koh Poh Koon expressed his appreciation for the remarks made by Minister Wang Zhigang. He pointed out that Singapore cherishes its long-term good cooperative relationship with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and is willing to deepen and expand bilateral science and technology cooperation through the platform of the China-Singapore Joint Commission on Science and Technology Cooperation mechanism. He said that as the current holder of the rotating presidency of ASEAN and the holder of the seat as coordinator in ASEAN-China relations, Singapore in conjunction with other ASEAN countries is willing to work with China and stage collaborative innovation events with distinctive themes and wide influence around the China-ASEAN Year of Innovation, promote the formation of substantial results, push forward regional economic development, benefit the people and add vitality into China-ASEAN relations.