China's One Belt, One Road initiative and its wider internationalisation efforts will be central to Sino-Singapore business cooperation, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.
Singapore is strategically located on the maritime silk road and is now connected to a key node of the "belt" through the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, said Mr Teo.
The One Belt, One Road push aims to revive the Silk Road trading routes and boost regional links.
"We can further strengthen business partnerships and people-to- people links with China's Belt and Road initiative," said Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security. He was speaking at the Business China Awards dinner, at the Shangri-La hotel.
Mr Teo said that last year, for the first time, China's outward investment exceeded foreign direct investments in China.
Singapore has supported China's internationalisation efforts in several ways, such as in financial cooperation to boost the internationalisation of the yuan and Chinese enterprises, he said.
KEEPING TIES STRONG
We can further strengthen business partnerships and people-to-people links with China's Belt and Road initiative.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TEO CHEE HEAN
"We have actively promoted the use of the yuan in international transactions, and continue to play a catalytic role in the internationalisation of the yuan, offering a wide range of yuan products," he said.
Companies in Chongqing can now issue yuan bonds in Singapore to fund their activities, opening up China's financial sector and increasing the use of the yuan in the region.
"Singapore has also been working closely with Chinese and Singapore banks to syndicate financing to Belt and Road projects, particularly in South-east Asia," he said, noting that International Enterprise Singapore has signed agreements with major Chinese banks to provide $90 billion of trade financing for Singapore and Chinese companies in Belt and Road projects.
In its seventh year, the awards, jointly presented by Business China and OCBC Bank, recognise outstanding professionals, businessmen, entrepreneurs and organisations.
This year, eminent historian Wang Gungwu, 86, was awarded the Business China Excellence Award for his significant contributions in shedding light on the historical links between China and South-east Asia.
The young achiever award went to 44-year-old Jenny Lee, a Shanghai-based venture capitalist who is managing partner of GGV Capital, Shanghai. She was one of two Singaporean women, along with Temasek Holdings chief executive Ho Ching, to be named in Forbes magazine's list of 100 most powerful women in the world
The enterprise award went to Bank of China, which was lauded for promoting Sino-Singapore ties via excellent services to the business community in both countries.