Belt and Road Forum

Singapore can help finance projects, says Lawrence Wong

Mr Lawrence Wong (far left) with Mr He Lifeng, head of China's National Development and Reform Commission, at the MOU signing yesterday.
Mr Lawrence Wong (left) with Mr He Lifeng, head of China's National Development and Reform Commission, at the MOU signing yesterday.PHOTO: MND

BEIJING • Singapore can play a complementary role in financing projects in the Belt and Road initiative, particularly those in South- east Asia, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

As an international financial centre and one of the largest offshore yuan centres, Singapore can join Hong Kong and London in facilitating lending to the major infrastructure projects aimed at improving connectivity between China and countries along the trade routes linking Asia, Africa and Europe.

Mr Wong suggested roping in private and commercial partners to help make projects more bankable or more acceptable to lenders.

Besides finance, Singapore also has a wide range of high-quality professional services in urban master-planning, engineering, project advisory, dispute resolution and legal services, which can help make infrastructure projects more bankable, he said at a session on financial connectivity at the Belt and Road Forum yesterday.

Financial institutions are also welcome to tap Singapore's capital markets and institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, to raise funds, he added.

Mr Wong represented Singapore in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the Belt and Road initiative with China.

 
 

The MOU notes that cooperation on the initiative will "enable the two sides to enjoy better bilateral relations, more substantive economic ties and closer people-to-people exchanges".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore can help finance projects, says Lawrence Wong'. Print Edition | Subscribe