The 20th anniversary of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province was marked on Monday, with the signing of five bilateral agreements and the announcement of direct trading between the renminbi and the Singapore dollar starting on Tuesday in the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
According to Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, direct currency trading was one of the key achievements of the 16th China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Council Meeting.
Zhang said that Singapore serves as an important gateway for the yuan to reach Southeast Asian markets and the international market as a whole. Direct trading will also help China deepen financial reform and overseas cooperation, Zhang said.
Wang Dan, foreign currency analyst at Beijing-based financial information provider KVB Finance, said that direct trading will help create a market between the yuan and the Singapore dollar without resorting to the US dollar all the time.
"Singapore has devoted much effort to building itself into a financial hub in Southeast Asia while China has been busy developing an offshore renminbi center in Singapore. Direct trading with the Singapore dollar naturally follows. It will help with the yuan's internationalization," he said.
Cross-border renminbi business has been expanding rapidly in recent years, noted Hu Xiaolian, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.
Hu encouraged cooperation in using and exploring both countries' financial markets with a long-term perspective, providing new financial services and pursuing supervisory cooperation.
China and Singapore also signed five memorandums and agreements covering cooperation in intellectual property rights, exchange programs for officials' training, educational cooperation, environmental protection cooperation and further educational cooperation between the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee and National University of Singapore.
Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister of Singapore, said that bilateral cooperation "has become extensive at all levels".
Zhang said that cooperation in recent years had expanded to a higher level and a wider range and become groundbreaking. Zhang called for cooperation in modern logistics, the Internet of Things and maritime projects.