NANNING • A Singapore company will invest an initial one billion yuan (S$206 million) to build an integrated logistics park in southern Guangxi.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing yesterday attended the launching ceremony for the park in Nanning city, the capital of the autonomous region.
In a short opening address, he noted that the park could play a key role in supporting the Southern Transport Corridor, a network of railways linking Guangxi to western Chongqing.
Quoting the Chinese saying, "one minute on the stage requires 10 years of practice off stage", Mr Chan said the launch of the logistics park is a good start in the plan to build a seamless link to move cargo along the new transport corridor to China's western region.
When ready, the Southern Transport Corridor could be a more cost-effective way for companies in South-east Asia to go into western China, via Guangxi's Qinzhou port in Beibu Gulf (the Gulf of Tonkin).
Nanning, where the logistics park is located, is one of the key nodes in this corridor.
The 3 sq km logistics park is the first such large-scale investment by Singapore shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL) in China.
Talking to reporters after the ceremony, PIL managing director Teo Siong Seng said: "Guangxi does a lot of border trade with Vietnam, and many of the imported goods are sent to Guangzhou for processing.
"With this park, we hope to attract businesses to do some of the processing and packaging here."
The entire park will take eight to 10 years to build. The first phase is estimated to take three years to complete, and part of it will be in a bonded zone - a special trade area where the goods will get preferential tax treatment.
In an interview with reporters yesterday, Mr Chan said the logistics park is the first of possibly many such projects along the Southern Transport Corridor, which will require a chain of such distribution centres.
"I am quite sure that Singapore companies in the logistics field will be very eager to work with the Chinese provincial officials all along the route to create that network effect," he said.
Chong Koh Ping