Two of Asia’s Biggest Fintech Hubs will Deepen Relationship in 2019

Two of Asia’s Biggest Fintech Hubs will Deepen Relationship in 2019

by September 21, 2018

Singapore has shown massive support for the Belt and Silk Road initiative by the more recently economically open Chinese government, which has impacted many industries in Singapore including fintech.

And Singapore has been quite cosy with the Chinese government in making these goals happen.

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng made a three-day visit to Singapore starting from September 19, at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.

Both parties co-chaired the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting, a forum between Singapore and China. Here’s what they agreed on:

1. Promote More Use of RMB

According to the report produced from the partnership, the pair deem the promotion of RMB use in the region as delivering good results.

“Singapore continues to be one of the top three offshore RMB centres globally, based on RMB deposits, trade finance, and clearing activities. The RMB is also among the top 5 foreign currencies traded in Singapore,” according to the report.

This fact may boil down to Chinese tourists visiting the region, or business deals conducted between China and Singapore, but when discussions are underway regarding promoting more use of RMB, it will be interesting to observe if the intended goal is fo average Singaporeans to adopt the currency as well.

With the current progress of Singapore as a cashless society, it would be possible for Singapore to run on dual currencies, though that may present its own version of complications.

2. More Fintech Collaborations

With both China and Singapore serving as the premier nations for fintech in the ASEAN region, authorities see value in financial agencies from both countries expanding fintech collaborations cross-country.

This includes facilitating information exchange on fintech developments and risks, and providing for regulatory cooperation on cross-border fintech activities.

3. More Financial Scene Supervision & Cross-border encouragement.

Over the medium term, both sides will be exploring possible initiatives that could facilitate investment flows. While that is going on, financial authorities in both China and Singapore will be strengthening supervisory cooperation, as more financial institutions and investors start becoming more active in each other’s markets.

The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s regulatory approach, and chip in where necessary on regulatory oversight.

4. The Belt and Silk Road Initiative

Singapore has already showcased that it is keen on China’s Belt and Silk Road Initiative, with discussions confirming that Singapore’s Infrastructure Asia can provide an open platform for Chinese inffrastructure developers and financial institutions to partner with relevant players in Singapore, in order to access regional infrastructure projects for ASEAN.

Following the JCBC event, Singapore and China will be making a more substantive upgrade to their free trade agreement, which will possibly follow the trend set by discussions during Han Zheng’s visit to Singapore, among other discussions that have been ongoing for a while now.

Featured image via screenshot of CGTN on YouTube