Political and business leaders see rich opportunities between China and Singapore

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong  today praised China's latest declaration on further opening-up and sees great cooperation opportunities at a conference in Shanghai.  

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong praised China’s latest declaration on further opening-up and sees great opportunities for cooperation between the two countries at the DBS Asian Insights Conference 2018 held this Thursday in Shanghai.

Lee said that the signal is very helpful, as the macro direction and willingness of the Chinese government is crucial. The Prime Minister added that how to carry out the policies and then show them to the world is “more important”.

He said that Chinese central government’s message should be sent to every corner of the country to ensure the implementation of relevant policies, but noted that it will take a long time for local officials to learn and digest.

He said China is very open now and has kept close relations with countries around the world. “The situation is totally different now.

Talking of the Belt and Road Initiative, Lee said that to win long-term success along the ancient routes, relevant investment projects should be built on sound commercial base and also accepted by the local community.

“It should benefit both the investors and the local people,” Lee added.

Citing the China-Singapore (Chongqing) demonstration project, he said it will greatly facilitate the bilateral trade and link different parts in West China by building advanced logistics systems.

The cooperative project is the third of its kind between the two countries, following the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park and Sino-Singapore Eco-City in Tianjin.

As the chairman country for ASEAN this year, Singapore is working on boosting the economic resilience as well as innovation. And Lee said that his country plans to work with China in building smart cities as it has become a frontrunner in information technology worldwide.

Lawrence Wong, minister for national development of Singapore, said during a panel discussion that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Development of China to boost third party cooperation.

According to Wong, the government funding is far from enough for projects along the Belt and Road and more private investment is needed.

Wong said that as one of largest offshore yuan center, Singapore is expecting more integration with China as the country has entered a new phase of development.

Piyush Gupta, the chief executive officer of DBS, said that thanks to its good political circumstances and well-established international financial standards, Singapore is an ideal anchor point for Chinese companies’ going out strategy.

Wu Yibing, the joint head of portfolio strategy and risk and joint head of China at Temasek Holdings Private Limited, an investment company backed by the government of Singapore, said that China accounts for a quarter of their investment portfolio. And the company is now working with China’s Silk Road Fund and China Investment Corporation to tap into opportunities arising from the Belt and Road countries.

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