Portal to boost knowledge of 'One Belt, One Road'

A portal dedicated to the China- initiated "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) strategy was launched yesterday by labour chief Chan Chun Sing.

This website, a first in South-east Asia focusing on OBOR, is jointly developed by Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese flagship newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings, and the Singapore Business Federation.

OBOR is an ambitious infrastructure and economic development strategy unveiled by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.

It aims to connect with 65 countries over three continents via an overland belt that links China with Europe and a sea route that passes through South-east Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The website seeks to drive a deep understanding of OBOR among Singapore enterprises, as well as offer Chinese readers around the world a Singaporean and South-east Asian perspective on OBOR.

It will present an overview of OBOR, its latest developments, news, business opportunities, analyses, commentaries and a calendar of activities relating to the regions along OBOR.

It will also feature in-depth interviews relating to OBOR.

"The establishment of the OBOR portal is timely," said Mr Chan, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

The portal will serve to help explain what is OBOR and inform people of the opportunities available and connect interested parties with each other, he added.

Mr Chan, who is Singapore's pointman for the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI), the new Singapore-China government-led project in the western Chinese city, also gave updates on the project on the sidelines of the event.

A transport and logistics master- plan will be launched next month. This will be a blueprint to guide the developments of the project for the next two to three years, said Mr Chan.

The plan aims to integrate the air, land and sea dimensions of connectivity, which will allow Chongqing to become the node of western China in terms of transport and logistics.

Mr Chan also hopes to create a platform in the form of a seminar to connect businessmen and officials from both sides to share ideas.

He pointed out that this project will have a broader definition of success, unlike the previous two government-to-government projects with China - in Suzhou and Tianjin.

"We are looking at developing enablers to increase the ease of doing business and lower operating costs, such as logistics and financing costs," said Mr Chan.

"This will unlock Chongqing's potential to develop into a multi-modal transportation hub to connect China to the rest of the world."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2016, with the headline 'Portal to boost knowledge of 'One Belt, One Road''. Print Edition | Subscribe