Business with a Cultural Handshake

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Singapore-China Webinars Connect Entrepreneurs to Benefit from Proposed Xiamen Joint Venture

Livestreamed Event Provides Networking Opportunities in Singapore, Xiamen, Chongqing and Nanjing


    • Business leaders discuss how Singapore-Xiamen joint-venture mutually benefits; helps the ASEAN region gain market access via a placemaking project in Xiamen and vice versa
    • Educators discuss opportunities for tertiary exchange programmes between Singapore and Chongqing
    • New immigrants from Jiangsu share their cross-cultural experiences with friends from provincial capital of Nanjing

Acknowledging this year’s 30th anniversary of Singapore’s diplomatic relations with China, a Singapore not-for-profit arts organisation and a design firm have come together with various partners to organise a series of inter-city webinars to further people-to-people relations between the two countries.

Titled Business with a Cultural Handshake, this three-part webinar will see arts organisations, academics, business leaders and professionals from Singapore, Xiamen, Chongqing and Nanjing look at new areas of collaboration and cross-cultural exchange across all sectors.  This ‘ground-up’ initiative by TRCL and IDM Cultural Alliance Pte Ltd (IDMCA) will discuss opportunities that can encourage attendees to expand their entrepreneurial footprint to include Chinese markets.

The livestream event is the brainchild of Singaporean Architect Mr Daniel Mei, Founder of IDM Group and IDM Cultural Alliance (IDMCA). He grew up in China and has worked in Singapore for almost 30 years.

“I see myself as a link between the two countries and it’s a privilege to host such a meaningful cultural exchange between Singapore and China,” said Mr Mei, who is also chairman of the daylong webinar. “It is a source of deep satisfaction for me to help others gain a deeper understanding of both countries.” Co-hosting the online event are TRCL, its subsidiary, Global Cultural Alliance Ltd (GCA), and the Jiangsu Association (Singapore).

The highlight of these webinars is the opening Singapore-Xiamen dialogue that explores an initiative between both cities to rejuvenate an existing space into a cultural and economic node for the ASEAN region in Xiamen and vice versa.

Three companies, TRCL, IDM Group and a Xiamen investment company, have come together to repurpose a mixed-use development. TRCL’s Xiamen project lead Ms Sum Wai Ying says this joint-venture project will be “a nexus for developing a mini-ASEAN community in Xiamen.”

“Xiamen’s Haoli ThinkCity is positioned as a global intersection of business, the arts, community, and culture. It’s conceived as a space for entrepreneurs and visitors from ASEAN to live, play, work and connect. I will be discussing the potential that businesses can leverage by rejuvenating heritage spaces like this. Beyond this, the community will be enriched; given a freshness of purpose and direction.”

Interest in the discussions has led to support for the other two webinars from the Jiangsu Association (Singapore) and Temasek Polytechnic. President of the Jiangsu Association (Singapore) Dr Zhou Zhao Cheng says, “Frequent interactions between Singapore and China like this have a strong positive effect on Singapore society. There’s more vitality and energy when business and social groups come together like this to share insights and ideas. This webinar encourages good things to happen.”

The second part of the webinar, People to People Communication, features guest speaker Dr Sun Ling Ling, Head of Temasek Polytechnic’s Healthcare Engineering Centre. She leads a multi-disciplinary Research and Development team at Temasek Polytechnic developing innovative healthcare devices.

Dr Sun says: “I am honoured to be part of this global forum discussing our polytechnic’s collaboration with Chongqing’s universities and firms dealing with clean energy and other forms of high-tech innovative solutions.  Flexibility and keeping up with advancements is key.”

The closing webinar of the day, Business with a Cultural Handshake, wraps up with a relaxed sharing of anecdotes, experiences and insights. Jointly organised by the Jiangsu Association (Singapore), this is a lighthearted chat where attendees will come away inspired about potential collaboration with their Mandarin-speaking counterparts.

“At the end of the day,” adds the webinar’s chairman Mr Mei, “you will come away from the webinar knowing more about the Chinese point of view on many issues.”


ANNEX: Webinar Highlights

Attendees can register on for any one or all three parts and easily drop in throughout Tuesday Oct 27th. Be inspired by the ideas, views and opinions of professionals and experts. All topics will be discussed in English and Mandarin (with translation by moderators), and is designed to appeal to entrepreneurs, creatives, educators, students, and anyone interested in things Chinese.

10:00 – 11:15  •  Xiamen: Three Organisations – Two Cities – One Vision         

Since the late 1800s, Singapore has enjoyed warm historical ties with this southeastern city in Fujian province, ties which are familial (many Singaporeans call Xiamen their ancestral hometown), and inimitable.  Formerly Amoy, Xiamen was the hometown of Singapore’s founding fathers, Tan Kah Kee, Lee Kong Chian and Gan Eng Seng.

Who should attend: Investors, entrepreneurs, creatives, founders of SMEs and startups who want to learn more about placemaking, opportunities and expansion into the Chinese market.

14:00 – 15:30  •  Chongqing: People-to-People Communication

This session kickstarts a conversation between educators in Singapore and Chongqing, widely regarded as one of the most futuristic cities worldwide. Attendees will benefit from learning how student exchange programmes can promote a deeper understanding between the two cities.

Who should attend: Students, educators, entrepreneurs in the business of education, clean energy, technology, creatives, urban planners and architects.

17:00 – 18:15  •  Nanjing: Business with a Cultural Handshake

Attendees will gain insight into the nature of cross-cultural exchanges between Singapore and Nanjing, a dynamic Chinese city with a distinguished cultural legacy. This session, jointly supported by the Jiangsu Association (Singapore), is a lighthearted one where attendees will come away inspired about potential collaboration with their Mandarin-speaking counterparts. This final segment wraps up the webinar with a relaxed sharing of anecdotes, experiences and insights.

Who should attend: Business leaders and potential investors, young entrepreneurs and creatives from both Singapore and Nanjing who are keen to connect, and members of the Jiangsu Association Singapore.

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About TRCL (The RICE Company Limited)

TRCL is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity with IPC (Institutions of Public Character) status. TRCL seeks to harness the potential of the arts to benefit under-served children and youths in the community. TRCL manages a social fund (The Business Times Budding Artists Fund), arts centres (The Little Academy and 10 Square Youth) in Northpoint City and Orchard Central, creative spaces (The Pavilion at Far East Square and Hillside 18/20) and two subsidiaries (Global Cultural Alliance and Millet Holdings). For more information, visit

Global Cultural Alliance Limited

Founded in 2014 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TRCL, Global Cultural Alliance Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation which focuses on developing an inclusive Singapore society through arts and culture programmes and positioning Singapore as a cultural hub for the exchange of ideas and shared experiences. GCA achieves its aims through two strategic thrusts, Building Communities and Bridging Borders. For more information, visit

IDM Cultural Alliance Pte Ltd (IDMCA)

IDM Cultural Alliance Pte Ltd (IDMCA) is a Singapore-based consultancy, engaging in place-making for ASEAN and the Greater China region. Our mission is to capitalize on a local community’s assets and potential, with the intention of creating and managing inspired public space which promote health, well-being and happiness. In partnership with TRCL, IDMCA offers an integrated model of physical space planning, design, management and digital transformation via the application of new technologies. We seek to be the leading brand for the adaptive repurposing of underused and existing assets, creating value for owners by recapitalizing these assets through original concepts and fresh content.