S'pore, Shandong to boost investment, trade

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat (left) met Yantai party secretary Zhang Shuping when Mr Chee visited the port city. Both sides affirmed the positive relations between Singapore and Shandong.
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat (left) met Yantai party secretary Zhang Shuping when Mr Chee visited the port city. Both sides affirmed the positive relations between Singapore and Shandong.PHOTO: ENTERPRISE SINGAPORE

Annual business council meeting later in year will also discuss ways to increase cooperation

Singapore and eastern Chinese province Shandong will explore at their annual business council meeting later this year ways to increase bilateral investments and trade as well as investment cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

These were among areas of cooperation discussed by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat, who co-chairs the Singapore-Shandong Business Council, and Chinese officials during his visit to the province this week.

Mr Chee met Shandong Vice-Governor Ren Airong, his co-chair in the business council, on Monday at the provincial capital of Jinan.

On Tuesday, Mr Chee, who was accompanied by a delegation of Singaporean business leaders and officials, visited the port city of Yantai, where he met the city's party secretary, Mr Zhang Shuping.

During their meetings, Mr Chee and the Chinese officials affirmed the positive relations between Singapore and Shandong, and discussed ways to further increase bilateral investments and trade.

They also discussed investment cooperation in third countries under the Belt and Road Initiative to build infrastructure along trade routes between China and Europe, and set up people-to-people exchanges between Singapore and Shandong, such as training programmes, internship opportunities and student exchanges.

These will form key areas of cooperation that will be discussed at the business council meeting, which could take place early in the second half of this year.

Total trade between Singapore and Shandong last year was 17.93 billion yuan (S$3.75 billion), with actual investment totalling 7.49 billion yuan, according to Enterprise Singapore.

In Yantai, Mr Chee also witnessed the signing of a contract between Singapore's Mapletree Investments and the Yantai government to build a $52 million logistics warehouse in the city's Fushan district.

Mapletree Investments has two other logistics park projects in Shandong province, in Jinan and Qingdao.

Apart from the new Yantai project, it is planning two more projects in Shandong.

Mr Chee's four-day trip to Shandong, which ended yesterday, is his third since last year and his second after he was designated co-chair of the business council last July.

He plans to make regular trips to different parts of Shandong "to get to know the government leaders and businesses, and to better understand how we can work together to promote more investments and trade, and encourage more people-to-people linkages between Singapore and Shandong".

"These include exchanges between our students and young working professionals to facilitate mutual learning, friendship and cooperation," Mr Chee said.


Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore, Shandong to boost investment, trade'. Print Edition | Subscribe