Singapore, Chinese firms in tie-ups to boost trade

CHONGQING • Two joint-venture companies set up by Singapore and Chinese firms to boost the flow of trade and services between the two countries were officially inaugurated yesterday.

One is called Sino-Singapore Chongqing Connectivity Solutions (SSCCS) and will develop standards and practices for river, rail, air and road transport modes linking Chongqing with western China and beyond.

It will facilitate the development of logistics facilities and services such as supply chain solutions. For a start, the company will help develop cargo train services along the Southern Transport Corridor from Chongqing to Beibu Gulf.

Using this rail corridor in place of the existing Yangtze River route will cut freight time from China's southern coastal area to inland Chongqing from 10 days to less than three days.

The other firm - Sino-Singapore (Chongqing) DC Multimodal Logistics - will help plan, develop, manage and optimise multimodal operations across road, rail, river and air. It will coordinate and integrate logistics resources across logistics centres in and near Chongqing, a municipality of about 28 million people.

"This milestone marks the partnership between Chongqing and Singapore companies to initiate and organise new trade routes to connect Chongqing to global markets along the Belt and Road Initiative," said Mr Teo Siong Seng, chairman of SSCCS, referring to China's ambitious infrastructure project.

"I am hopeful that Chongqing can be the gateway to west China," added Mr Teo, who is also the managing director of shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL).

Using this rail corridor in place of the existing Yangtze River route will cut freight time from China's southern coastal area to inland Chongqing from 10 days to less than three days.

Joint venture company SSCCS comprises Connectivity Solutions, a Singapore consortium comprising PIL, PSA International, YCH Holdings and Kerry Logistics (Singapore), and a consortium of six Chongqing companies.

Trade agency IE Singapore's chief executive Lee Ark Boon said the venture catalyses Chongqing's role as China's inland global logistics hub and multimodal transport and logistics centre in western China.

"More importantly, this enhances Singapore's connectivity to new emerging trade nodes and brings new opportunities for Singapore enterprises, in particular for wholesale trade. It will also support innovation in trade-related financial services," he added.

IE Singapore and the Chongqing municipal government have started a work group to coordinate plans, policies and stakeholder engagement to support the company.

Chong Koh Ping

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore, Chinese firms in tie-ups to boost trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe