Shandong, S'pore forge closer ties with 11 deals

Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck (right) and Shandong Vice-Governor Xia Geng at the 19th Shandong- Singapore Business Council meeting yesterday. Mr Teo said there are opportunities for Singapore firms to tap emerging services sectors in Sh
Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck (right) and Shandong Vice-Governor Xia Geng at the 19th Shandong- Singapore Business Council meeting yesterday. Mr Teo said there are opportunities for Singapore firms to tap emerging services sectors in Shandong, especially in financial services, healthcare, logistics and tourism.PHOTO: IE SINGAPORE

Province experiencing steady growth; deals include areas such as healthcare and logistics

Singapore companies, including Global Logistic Properties, YCH Group and The Farrer Park Company, signed 11 agreements with their counterparts from the Chinese province of Shandong yesterday.

The agreements covered areas such as education, healthcare and logistics.

They were inked at the 19th Singapore-Shandong Business Council (SSBC) meeting in Singapore.

The council has identified healthcare and logistics, including smart technologies, as key sectors that offer emerging opportunities for Singapore companies in Shandong.

Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck and Shandong Vice-Governor Xia Geng co-chaired the SSBC meeting.

Mr Xia is in Singapore on a two-day business mission, accompanied by 70 Chinese delegates from six Shandong cities.

With support from the council, Singapore-Shandong bilateral economic and trade relations have grown steadily over the years.

The Republic is Shandong's third-largest foreign investor, with investments in the province reaching US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion) last year.

Mr Teo noted in a statement yesterday that despite a general slowdown across China, Shandong has been experiencing steady growth, fuelled by rising consumerism and growing agricultural and manufacturing trade.

"Its ageing population is also creating a strong demand for healthcare services. We see opportunities for Singapore companies to tap emerging modern services sectors, especially in financial services, healthcare, logistics and tourism," said Mr Teo.

"We also want to look at offering more advanced technology and services for these areas; these help us stand out amid competition and meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of the market."

Trade agency IE Singapore said in the same statement that with growing urbanisation and an increasing number of manufacturers and agricultural traders, industrial parks and e-commerce players now require more efficient logistics, such as cold chain and smart logistics, to transport their products domestically and internationally.

A more affluent and ageing population also results in increased consumer spending and the need for better healthcare systems, it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'Shandong, S'pore forge closer ties with 11 deals'. Print Edition | Subscribe