IE Singapore signs MOU with Singapore branch of China's ICBC to further infrastructure tie-ups

An ICBC branch at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Pudong.
An ICBC branch at the Shanghai Free Trade Zone in Pudong.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Singapore Branch (ICBC), to partner on infrastructure opportunities across Asia.

ICBC will set up a team in Singapore to provide project financing and related professional services required in China's "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) strategic initiative. This will increase efficiency and shorten turnaround time on processing of loans, said IE Singapore.

Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the OBOR initiative in 2013 with the stated aim to connect major Eurasian economies through infrastructure, trade and investment.

Said Chua Taik Him, deputy CEO of IE Singapore: "China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative has opened up investment opportunities in infrastructure projects for Singapore companies. ICBC is a vital partner to work with as it has the clearing capacity for renminbi and sound knowledge of Chinese companies."

The partnership allows Singapore companies to tap on ICBC's global network across 39 countries, spreading across six continents, he added.

Mr Chua signed the MOU with Zhang Weiwu, general manager of ICBC Singapore, at the ICBC RMB Internationalisation summit co-hosted by IE Singapore on Tuesday (June 7).

The MOU brings IE Singapore's partnerships with Chinese banks to more than S$90 billion worth of financing for OBOR projects.

IE Singapore signed an MOU with China Construction Bank last month and with Bank of China in November last year, also to further OBOR partnerships in South-east Asia.

ICBC will also explore setting up an infrastructure fund to invest in projects in Asia and take part in IE Singapore's infrastructure development internship programme.

The Chinese bank and Singapore trade agency will also work together on infrastructure-related events.

IE Singapore signed an MOU with China Construction Bank last month and with Bank of China in November last year to deepen OBOR partnerships in Southeast Asia.

In November last year, IE Singapore and ICBC Singapore signed a landmark MOU to promote cross-border ecommerce for Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) trades.