5. 目前，新加坡每日接种疫苗可达八万剂次。我们希望在 8月9日，也就是新加坡国庆日的时候，为新加坡约三分之二的人口接种两剂疫苗。国庆过后，希望接种率 会继续提高。
10. 这样，商业活动能够安全地进行，日常运营也不大可能受阻断，让企业得到更大的稳定性。当然，我们希望企业能尽自己的一份力，使自身业务具备更大的调度弹性与灵活度。例如确保业务持续性计划（Business Continuity Plan）实施到位，以及供应链的多样化，以分散风险。
15. 最近，中国共产党庆祝建党百年华诞，宣布实现了第一个“全面建成小康社会” 的百年目标。第二个百年目标，即是在2049年之前，把中国建成富强、先进、和谐的 社会主义现代化强国。其中一个重要发展重点便是“双循环战略”。
20. 早于2009年，两地便成立了新粤合作理事会（SGCC），并通过中新广州知识城和新加坡–中国（深圳）智慧城市合作倡议等平台推进双边合作。比亚迪、顺丰速递和腾讯等 广东企业也已纷纷在新加坡设立业务，以新加坡为基地，开拓东南亚市场。
22. 第一，拓展制造业领域的合作。未来的制造产业将高度数字化；我们将看到全面智能化的“黑灯”工厂 – 机器在工厂地面上自主移动，独立地针对库存、生产和维修方面做出决策与安排。我们可以对供应链的每一份投入、每个环节的信息了如指掌。还可以通过3D打印技术实现定制生产。
24. 第二，深化金融领域的合作。可持续基础设施需要大量的资金投入。仅仅是在亚洲，直到2030年，每年大约需要 1.7万亿美元的投入。面对这如此巨大的需求，新加坡和大湾区的金融业者可以一同合作，带头将资源导入绿色与可持续发展的项目之中。
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF SPEECH BY MR ONG YE KUNG, MINISTER FOR HEALTH, AT THE FUTURECHINA GLOBAL FORUM, 12 JULY 2021, 11.00AM
Distinguished speakers and guests,
Ladies and Gentleman,
1. I am glad to participate once again in the FutureChina Global Forum. COVID-19 has spread worldwide and is an issue that all of us watch closely. Let me give a brief update on the current situation in Singapore.
2. In the past two weeks, new community cases have maintained at the single-digit level, and only a minority of them are unlinked cases. However, the battle against COVID-19 is far from over. There is increasing consensus among experts that COVID-19 will likely to be endemic. Even so, we stand united and have tapped on our technological capabilities to overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
POST-PANDEMIC NEW NORMAL
3. The strategy moving forward is to continue to restart our economic and social activities in a phased and safe manner, and take steady steps towards the post-pandemic new normal. To this end, we need to consider a few key factors.
4. The most important and critical factor is vaccination. As more of us are vaccinated, there will be greater immunity within our community. Vaccination can greatly reduce transmission, leading to far fewer COVID-19 cases. Vaccination can also reduce COVID-19 into a milder virus, just like the seasonal influenza. Once we achieve these outcomes, we can then live normally with better peace of mind.
5. Singapore can now administer up to 80,000 vaccine doses every day. By 9 August, which is Singapore’s National Day, we aim to have fully vaccinated two thirds of our population. We hope that the vaccination rate will continue to rise after National Day.
6. Second, we continue to rely on COVID-19 testing to detect and isolate infected individuals quickly. Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, we have also rolled out the antigen rapid test (ART) on a large scale, which can produce results in about 20 minutes. Breathalysers, which only take about 2 to 3 minutes to administer, are also in the pipeline. We are also expanding the testing of wastewater to help us detect community transmissions early.
7. Thirdly, we will continue to use effective treatment for patients. Singapore already has in place a range of effective treatment, which helps to keep our COVID-19 mortality rate low.
8. Lastly, our social behaviours and habits will have to adapt. Everyone would have to practise good personal hygiene and inculcate the social consciousness to stay home when sick.
9. With all four measures in place, we will be able to “tame” the virus; go about with our daily activities safely; and get our economy to recover. We enter the post-pandemic new normal. Our social and economic activities, public health measures, and the recovery of travel and tourism, will all be adjusted in a phased and safe manner. We need to do so step-by-step, and not rush things through, which may potentially bring our past efforts down the drain.
10. Under this new normal, daily operations of businesses are less likely to be disrupted, allowing businesses to benefit from greater certainty that work events and activities can take place safely. Of course, we hope that businesses also do their part to implement measures that will help them to be more resilient and flexible, such as ensuring that business continuity plans are in place and supply chains are well-diversified and maintained.
11. We must harness all our energy, resources and creativity to transit and adapt as quickly as we can to the desired end-state.
OPPORTUNITIES ARISING FROM COVID-19
12. While the pandemic has changed our way of living, advancements in technology and innovation have not slowed down during this time. This crisis has instead provided greater impetus for us to relook at our practices and mindset; and push us to explore ways of living and working which are more effective and sustainable.
13. For example, COVID-19 has allowed most of us to work from home, and cut down overseas work trips. Although face-to-face interaction remains irreplaceable, we have been able to cut down on commuting costs and time, try out new and more effective ways of working, and reduce our carbon footprints. Amid the challenging environment, many businesses have also tapped on technology to enter new markets, and to attract investments and talent.
14. China remains as one of the key regional markets for global companies, including Singapore companies, looking to scale their operations. The pandemic has brought about new opportunities, especially on the digital economy front, where we observed enhanced adherence for all things online, from tele-consultations to retail to online education. In China, the pandemic has also brought about greater attention and investments in healthcare, and biomedical research and development.
15. Recently, the Chinese Communist Party celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding and announced that China has realised its first centenary goal, which is “to build a moderately prosperous society in all aspects”. The second centenary goal is to build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, culturally advanced and harmonious, by 2049. One of the key strategies in achieving this goal is the Dual Circulation Strategy.
16. In facilitating “internal circulation”, China will double down on efforts to build a strong domestic consumer market, strengthen its innovation eco-system and accelerate development in regions such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region. At the same time, under “external circulation”, China will remain open to international trade and investment.
17. Under this Dual Circulation Strategy, Southeast Asia and China will need to deepen our collaboration, fostering greater integration in trade and investment. China and Southeast Asia are each other’s largest trading partner and both are parties to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. China has also deepened its trading links with the region through initiatives such as the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative – New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (CCI-ILSTC), which reduces travel time for goods to travel from Singapore to Western China and vice-versa. Southeast Asia and China’s collaboration in the digital and financial space have also becoming increasingly more important.
STRENGTHENING COLLABORATION WITH THE GREATER BAY AREA
18. Since China’s reform and opening up, the GBA has been a window facilitating China’s integration with the world. Today, the GBA is an economic and manufacturing powerhouse, contributing to more than a tenth of China’s GDP in 2020, and serves as a vanguard in China’s journey toward achieving its second centenary goal.
19. Against the backdrop of GBA’s development, there is much room for further collaboration between Singapore and China. For a start, Singapore and Guangdong already share strong economic ties. Guangdong was Singapore’s top provincial trading partner in China for the 32nd consecutive year in 2020.
20. We established the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council (SGCC) in 2009 and fostered closer collaboration through the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC) and the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI) projects. Guangdong companies such as BYD, SF Express and Tencent have also established presence here, and are using Singapore as a base to further their footprints in Southeast Asia.
21. With the solid foundation, there is greater potential for closer Singapore-Guangdong collaboration in the future. To this end, I would like to propose 8 areas to propel our collaboration in the post-pandemic future:
22. Firstly, to expand collaboration in the manufacturing sector. The future of manufacturing will be highly digitalised. We will see smart and “dark” factories, with machines moving around autonomously on the factory floor, and independently make decisions on inventory, production and maintenance, with little need for human intervention. Our supply chains will give us complete visibility of every single input, and we will also enjoy customizable production, enabled by 3D printing.
23. Many Singapore companies have responded to these new tech trends, to grow their businesses in the GBA. For example, Star3D, a dental 3D printing company, is setting up a 3D printing digital design centre in the CSGKC to develop digital dentistry products in China.
24. Second, to deepen collaborations in the finance sector. Sustainable infrastructure development requires massive funding. In Asia alone, from now till 2030, about USD 1.7 trillion in funding is needed each year. With this immense demand, financial players in Singapore and the GBA ecosystems can collaborate and champion for capital to be channelled to green and sustainable development projects.
25. Besides infrastructure, being able to address disaster risk arising from climate change is also one of the important issues while pursuing sustainable development. Singapore’s financial institutions are experienced in risk management solutions, and could help companies in Singapore and the GBA to better manage and mitigate their risks.
26. Third, to strengthen intellectual property (IP) cooperation. Both Singapore and the GBA highly value the protection of IP. For our people to lead better lives, we have to enhance the quality of our economic growth. With that, the capability to create and utilise technology and knowledge would have to be elevated as well.
27. The GBA has one of the highest numbers of IP filings and international patent applications in China. In 2020, Singapore ranked top in Asia-Pacific for the seventh consecutive year in the Global Innovation Index. We have also just launched the Singapore IP Strategy (SIPS) 2030 in April this year, to chart out future plans in building an IP ecosystem that supports enterprise growth and industry transformation. For instance, enterprises in the GBA can leverage our patent acceleration programmes with global and ASEAN partners to complement their overseas expansions.
28. Fourth, exploring further cooperation in the biomedical sector. In the next decade or two, both China and Singapore will face an increasing need for aged care. This also means that there is much potential for continued collaboration for Singapore and the GBA in biomedical research and commercialisation. Guangdong has recently launched the Medicine Connect Programme in the GBA, which injected greater vibrancy into its biomedical sector.
29. Given the investments we have put in into biomedical research over the past years, we are starting to see the fruits of our labour. The growth in the biomedical sector has also led companies to explore venturing into the Chinese market. Conversely, Singapore companies can also partner GBA’s biomedical businesses, to assist them in growing their businesses in the Southeast Asia market.
30. Fifth, to jointly build a green economy. Singapore aims to halve the amount of emissions it produces at its 2030 peak by 2050. China has also set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In the post-pandemic era, as we start to adopt sustainable solutions that are environmentally-oriented, it opens greater room for both sides to explore collaborations. For a start, we could share best practices and experiences gleaned from developing solutions for new transport technologies, smart cities, water and waste management, and energy efficiency.
31. Sixth, promoting talent exchange. The future economy would be powered by talents and we should continue to deepen talent exchange between Singapore and the GBA, especially amongst our students and youths.
32. I look forward to the implementation of the Singapore-China Youth Interns Exchange Scheme (YES) that will allow Singaporean youths to undergo internship programmes in China, and similarly for Chinese youths to experience the same in Singapore.
33. The National University of Singapore (NUS) is also in the process of establishing a Research Translation and Innovation Institute in Guangzhou, that will focus on research translation and education programmes to train R&D talents in Guangzhou and the GBA.
34. Seventh, promote greater interactions between our innovation eco-systems. As part of our efforts to promote and support Singapore start-ups, the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) has been expanded last December to include Shenzhen. Shenzhen has also set up a launchpad in Singapore to support Shenzhen companies venturing into the Southeast Asia market.
35. Both the GBA and Singapore have vibrant innovation ecosystems. Supported by a deep interconnected web of start-ups, investors and corporates, Singapore’s innovation ecosystem serves as a good base for the co-development of solutions, test-bedding, commercialisation, and for scaling up in the region.
36. Lastly, to facilitate resumption of people-to-people exchange. In the post-pandemic new normal, leisure and work travels will resume. Both China and Singapore have achieved steady progress in managing COVID-19. At an appropriate juncture, countries and regions may explore resuming cross-border travel with the mutual recognition of one another’s health and vaccination certificates, and do away with isolation requirements.
37. I believe these eight areas allow for a comprehensive, in-depth and strategic approach in strengthening collaboration between the GBA and Singapore, and to better tap on unleashed potential on both sides. Although the pandemic has disrupted our development plans, we have found new opportunities amidst the crisis, and will continue to deepen the collaboration and connectivity between Singapore and the region, in sectors such as the economy, digital space and financial sector.
38. The FutureChina Global Forum was held virtually last year, and this year it took on a hybrid format. I hope that for the edition next year, we can interact face-to-face in the new normal. Thank you.