Singapore, China affirm economic ties, commit to keeping trade lines open amid Covid-19 outbreak

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing during a video conference call with Reform Commission of China Ning Jizhe. PHOTO: CHAN CHUN SING/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Republic and China are committed to keeping global supply chains and trade lines open amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of China Ning Jizhe agreed over a video conference call on Monday (July 27) to "continue their support for globalisation and global supply chains".

Their commitment comes as the world faces major economic challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Mr Chan and Mr Ning also affirmed the deep economic ties that Singapore and China share, namely in China's Belt and Road Initiative, government-to-government projects and the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative - New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor.

Mr Chan said in a Facebook post after the video call that "it is important that we remain open and connected to protect our lifelines, in keeping supply chains and trade lines open".

"This will also help ensure our businesses and workers can continue to explore opportunities beyond our shores," he added.

Mr Chan also said that the two countries "agreed to continue working together to facilitate cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies and discussed ways to strengthen efforts to grow the digital economy, which is more pertinent than ever in these unprecedented times".

The ministry statement said that both Mr Chan and Mr Ning endorsed an updated list of projects that underscore the growing cooperation between both countries in other markets for the Belt and Road Initiative, though it did not provide further details.

"Bilateral cooperation in areas such as infrastructure connectivity and financial connectivity was also discussed."

Both countries "agreed to pay continuous attention to the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative" and remain committed to working together to build their digital economies, the statement added.

Mr Chan said that both he and Mr Ning acknowledged that good progress has been made in areas such as the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative and the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative.

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