Singapore firms sign new deals to expand into China's Liaoning province

More Singapore companies are expanding into China's Liaoning province, with 23 new project agreements signed on Wednesday between firms in Singapore and Liaoning.

This deals were inked at the 7th Singapore-Liaoning Economic and Trade Council, and is the largest number of such deals in five years, said trade agency IE Singapore.

Among the agreements was a tie-up between eight Singapore businesses offering enrichment activities for children. They will come together to set up an enrichment cluster in a lifestyle mall at Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning.

The eight enrichment companies are Climb Asia, Cristofori Music, Dancepointe, Genius R Us, Golf Pro Academy, Leap SchoolHouse, Mind Stretcher Education and Wow! Learning Studio, said IE Singapore. They will each offer specialty activities targeting children from 3 months to 16 years of age.

Other deals signed on Wednesday involved the environmental and healthcare services sectors, including an two agreements by Sembcorp Industries to provide industrial wastewater treatment plants for projects in Panjin.

"Liaoning continues to play a key role in the (Chinese) central government's plans to revitalise the Northeast region," said Acting Minister for Manpower and Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who was in Liaoning with 20 Singapore companies on a business mission organised by IE Singapore.

"Coupled with relatively lower operational costs and its proximity to key economies like South Korea and Japan, Liaoning serves as a good entry point not just to North China but also Northeast Asia," Mr Tan added.

"Recognising these advantages, Singapore companies have moved in quickly when opportunities arose in Liaoning, tripling our investments into the province during the first half of this year."

Last year, Singapore's trade with Liaoning increased 24 per cent to reach US$2.98 billion (S$3.72 billion), while investments by Singapore firms in Liaoning jumped 189 per cent to US$377.5 million. Singapore is the eighth largest foreign investor in the province.