On April 21, 2023，the People’s Bank of China (PBC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) held the first meeting of the China-Singapore Green Finance Working Group in Chongqing. The meeting was jointly chaired by Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman of the Green Finance Committee (GFC), China Society for Finance and Banking, President of the Institute of Finance and Sustainability (IFS), and Ms. Gillian Tan, Chief Sustainability Officer and Assistant Managing Director of the MAS. Over 40 representatives from more than 10 financial institutions from both sides (the list of participating institutions attached below), including Wang Xin, Director General of Research Bureau of PBC, attended and addressed the meeting. During the meeting, three research groups were established with focus respectively on the convergence of the green finance standards in China and Singapore, innovation of green finance products, and supporting financial technologies for green finance and carbon markets. The leading institutions and annual work plan for each group were also confirmed.
Both sides believed that green finance is highly valued by governments and financial institutions in China and Singapore to promote sustainable development in the context of carbon neutrality. They also acknowledged that two countries have complementary advantages in various fields, such as low-carbon transition, and agreed to enhance cooperation in green finance.
Ma Jun mentioned in his opening speech that green finance has strong externalities, as the technologies, methods, and tools involved in developing green finance in one country or region can benefit other countries or regions, developing ones in particular, through exchange and cooperation.
Ms. Gillian Tan expressed her satisfaction with the formal establishment of the China-Singapore Green Finance Working Group and her expectation for closer cooperation between the two sides in green finance and transition finance. The working group will provide a platform for knowledge exchange and practical cooperation among policy makers, regulatory agencies, enterprises, and financial institutions in China and Singapore for smoother capital flows.
China-Singapore Green Finance Research Group
The China-Singapore Green Finance Standard Research Group will enhance the comparability and compatibility of standards in China and Singapore.
The first research group plans to enhance the comparability and compatibility of standards in China and Singapore, including facilitating the integration of their standards under the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) and jointly promoting the application of the China-EU Common Ground Taxonomy: Climate Change Mitigation (CGT). The group will also engage in close exchanges and cooperation in formulating transition finance standards. The Research Bureau of PBC and the Sustainability Group, MAS jointly chaired this group, and both shared their progress and experiences in formulating standards of green finance and transition finance.
Wang Xin, Director General of the Research Bureau of PBC highlighted China’s establishment of the green finance standard system as well as its progress in developing transition finance standards. He suggested that China and Singapore should strengthen research and development of the CGT, innovate its usage scenarios, and boost connectivity and expand business categories of their green finance markets. Chen Shimin, Deputy Director of the Sustainability Group at MAS, presented the work plan of the first research group — actively conducting comparative research on green finance standards in China and Singapore and holding a seminar on transition finance in the second half of the year.
Members of the research group unanimously agreed that setting standards is critical to green finance development. Cao Hui, General Counsel of China Silk Road Fund and a member of the Sustainable Investment Committee, stated that in addition to negative list management, the Silk Road Fund actively supports the green transition of high-carbon industries in relevant countries and regions, which can be facilitated by enhancing the consistency in standards. Chen Siyu, Head of ESG, South Asia at Amundi, noted that beyond China and Singapore, the Southeast Asian region can also set industrial technical thresholds based on the CGT, so as to promote sustainable development and green transition. She also highlighted the importance of just transition during the process.
The China-Singapore Green Finance Research Group for Product Innovation will explore a Green Bond expressway
The second research group, focusing on product innovation of green finance and transition finance, will explore a China-Singapore green bond expressway and strengthen the connectivity of the green bond markets in China and Singapore by issuing mutually recognized bonds and establishing a green bond connectivity mechanism. China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and the Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX), which jointly chair the working group, stated their intention to build a two-way expressway for green bond investment and financing between the two countries, in a bid to encourage institutions to issue green bonds across borders.
Participants expressed keen interest in this proposal and suggested that the product types can be expanded beyond green bonds to include green panda bonds and transition finance products. The representatives from the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) suggested exploring various transition finance tools to enhance the inclusiveness of transition finance, and facilitating the issuance of green panda bonds to meet investors’ demand for diversified currencies. The representatives from Bank of China (BOC) shared their excellent practices in green standard convergence, financial product innovation, climate risk management, among others.
Digital technologies support the development of green finance and carbon markets
The third research group, co-chaired by China Beijing Green Finance and MetaVerse Green Exchange (MVGX), primarily studies how to apply digital technology to develop green finance and carbon markets. The experiments will be carried out to support green loans, green bond issuance, digital carbon credits, and the establishment of a digital green infrastructure project library, aiming to promote the application of China’s digital yuan in green investment and financing, as well as the use of digital technology in carbon accounting, emission management, cross-border carbon credit trading, among others.
The group members believed that digital technology has vast potential in driving the development of green finance and carbon markets. The representatives from Industrial Bank and Hash STACS shared their experiences in employing digital technology to do green finance businesses and suggested that China and Singapore should enhance standardization and cooperation in cross-border data connectivity, sharing, and management. The representatives from Ant Group shared their practices in using technologies to facilitate green rating and information disclosure in small and micro enterprises.
The meeting, held during the 5th China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Financial Summit, received strong support from the Chongqing Municipal Government and the Yuzhong District Government. The group expressed their gratitude to governments and invited relevant personnel from the Chongqing Business Management Department, PBC to introduce their progress in building the Chongqing Green Finance Reform and Innovation Pilot Zone and their development advantages. Next, China and Singapore will advance practical cooperation under the leadership of their respective regulatory authorities and co-chairs according to the work plan.
Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBC)
Green Finance Committee (GFC), China Society for Finance and Banking
China International Capital Corporation (CICC)
China Beijing Green Finance
Institute of Finance and Sustainability (IFS)
Silk Road Fund
Bank of China (BOC)
Chongqing Carbon Emissions Trading Center
Guangzhou Emissions Exchange (CEEX)
Bank of Guangzhou
Bank of Huzhou
Bank of Chongqing
Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX)
MetaVerse Green Exchange (MVGX)
Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)
United Overseas Bank (UOB)
Bayfront Infrastructure Management