Singapore and China digest (08-12 January)

Q4 growth of 2.8% on manufacturing upturn lifts Singapore’s 2023 full-year growth to 1.2%

Singapore's economy expanded 1.2 per cent year on year in 2023, pulled up by stronger growth in the fourth quarter, advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) showed on Tuesday (Jan 2).
This makes last year’s gross domestic product (GDP) slightly better than the official forecast of around 1 per cent that MTI had narrowed to last November, but much lower than the 3.6 per cent growth in 2022.

Singapore, Malaysia ink MOU on Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone

Both sides are exploring initiatives such as a passport-free QR code clearance system at the land checkpoints to facilitate more efficient clearance of travellers.

7 new TEL stations from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore targeted to open in 1st half of 2024
Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said the authorities are aiming to open these stations in the first half of 2024, according to Lianhe Zaobao in an interview published on Jan. 9. “Our goal is for [the stations] to be operational by the first half of this year. If possible, we will try to do it earlier,” said Chee.
Shanghai introduces multiple measure promoting high-quality development of investment industry

Efforts will be made to launch a municipal-level science and technology guidance fund to orderly expand venture capital and angel investment of the kind, according to the new policies.
To nurture more long-term capital, the municipal government will guide more insurance capital team ups with leading equity investment institutions in Shanghai so that the former can increase their investment in key industries and hard technologies. Qualified asset management firms of commercial banks can set up subsidiaries in Shanghai to invest in unlisted enterprises and equity investment funds in Lingang Special Area or the Yangtze River Delta region in general, according to the newly released measures.
Favorable tax policies have also been introduced. Venture capital enterprises and angel investors that have directly invested in seed-stage and start-up technology-based enterprises in the form of equity investment for two years can deduct 70 percent of the investment amount from the taxable income.
China implements measures to facilitate entry of foreign nationals
The new measures, effective from Thursday, include a relaxation of port visa application requirements and access to visa extension, replacement, and issuance services at local immigration departments for foreign nationals coming to or staying in China for non-diplomatic and non-official purposes such as commercial cooperation, exchanges, investment, entrepreneurship, visiting relatives and personal matters.
Foreign nationals enjoy 24-hour direct transit without undergoing border check procedures at nine major airports in cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xiamen, and Guangzhou.
Passenger aircraft without pilot make debut in 2 cities
EHang Holdings, a Chinese urban air mobility technology company, completed commercial flight demonstrations of its pilotless passenger-carrying aerial vehicles on Dec 28, 2023.
Demonstrations were conducted on the same day in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and Hefei, Anhui province.
Officials and residents in both cities joined the first group of invited passengers to take a ride on aircraft model EH216-S, which had been recently granted standard airworthiness certificates by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The cities had entered a strategic partnership with EHang in October to establish a leading position in the emerging low-altitude economy industry, the company said in a news release following the demonstrations.