S'pore to deepen business collaboration with Zhejiang

More opportunities are opening up for Singapore firms in the Chinese province of Zhejiang in areas of trade, e-commerce, professional services and innovation.

A growing number of local companies - such as e-commerce player M-DAQ and logistics business Ninja Van - have made headway there, noted Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry yesterday.

Ms Sim told the Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council in Mandarin that investments and trade between Zhejiang and Singapore from January to September this year hit $3.6 billion, up 30 per cent on the same period last year.

She also pointed to specific areas where Zhejiang and Singapore can further collaborate to create "win-win" situations.

The first is in trade and professional services. Being in a key oil trade and financing hub in the region, Singapore companies are well-positioned to partner the Zhejiang (Zhoushan) Free Trade Zone that was launched in April.

And as China's Belt and Road Initiative boosts the internationalisation of Zhejiang enterprises, Singapore firms can partner them to expand in the region, said Ms Sim, who co-chairs the council with Zhejiang vice-governor Liang Liming.

Another area that Singapore and Zhejiang can further collaborate in is cross-border e-commerce.

Zhejiang houses the nation's first comprehensive pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce.

Singapore companies' strengths in the e-commerce value chain and networks in South-east Asia complement Zhejiang's interests to enter the market, she said. Ninja Van is one Singapore business that has partnered Zhejiang firms to pilot its new cross-border logistics services.

Ms Sim also noted that Singapore companies can continue to work with Zhejiang on innovative projects, a process that has yielded good results so far.

Two memoranda of understanding were also signed to deepen collaboration on the Belt and Road Initiative yesterday.

One involves Singapore firm Anacle linking with Enjoytown (Hangzhou) Holdings to develop smart city management systems and solutions, including energy, building and facilities management and cloud platforms.

The other agreement is between Deloitte Singapore and China Zhejiang Center (Singapore) to set up a business cooperation mechanism.

The meeting was attended by over 110 government and business representatives from Singapore and Zhejiang. It is the 12th meeting since the council was established in 2003, supported by International Enterprise Singapore as Secretariat.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore to deepen business collaboration with Zhejiang'. Print Edition | Subscribe