Two new deals a boost for Sino-S'pore food zone

Two new agreements signed yesterday will boost efforts to produce safe, high-quality products in the Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone.

The zone is managed by a joint venture between China's Jilin city government and Singbridge, part of the Ascendas-Singbridge group.

The two deals were signed at a food innovation exhibition in Shanghai yesterday.

One involves a tie-up between Keppel Logistics, a unit of Keppel Telecommunications, and North Star Food Product, a trading unit of the Ascendas- Singbridge group.

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It aims to leverage Keppel's logistics capabilities to bring products from China, including those from the Jilin facility, to Singapore and South-east Asia.

These include the Fragrance 43°N japonica rice - the first product unveiled by the agribusiness park. Other products from the zone, such as white and yellow millet, black fungus and asparagus, are expected to be exported to Singapore later this year.

The second deal was inked between the Guangze group and the food zone manager JVMC to mark the adoption of Integrated Food Safety System standards at Guangze's cheese powder processing plant, which is expected to begin operations in August.

JVMC chief executive Yip Hon Mun said at the signing ceremony: "As one of the countries with the most rigorous food safety requirements, Singapore not only serves as a key consumption market for the food zone, but also contributes its valuable experience and technology in food safety management to the food zone."

The idea for the zone was mooted in 2008 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, with the aim of diversifying food sources for Singapore and improving safety standards for Chinese consumers. It has attracted nearly 40 projects with a total investment of 15 billion yuan (S$3 billion), including an integrated pig farm which began construction last month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Two new deals a boost for Sino-S'pore food zone'. Print Edition | Subscribe