Singapore, Zhejiang to boost business ties in 5 sectors

Public bodies from Singapore and China's Zhejiang province are joining forces to boost business collaboration in five sectors.

Representatives of Enterprise Singapore and the Zhejiang Department of Commerce will set up groups to identify projects, evaluate policy and promote dialogue in oil trade and maritime services, and technology and innovation.

The other areas of focus are: culture, tourism and youth; financial connectivity, legal and professional services; and sustainable urban management.

The initiative was announced at yesterday's Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council Roundtable held at Sheraton Towers.

Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Culture, Community and Youth, noted that Zhejiang's priorities align with Singapore's "as we transform our industries and deepen urban management".

Ms Sim, co-chairman of the council, told the event in Mandarin that companies from both places "can work together to boost global trade, in line with the Belt and Road Initiative". She added that Zhejiang - a coastal province in China's south-east - has a "diverse set of competitive advantages", including in the maritime and digital economies.

Singapore has invested around $8 billion in Zhejiang, said Ms Sim, adding that trade value grew by 44 per cent year on year to hit $3.5 billion in the first six months of this year.

"As markets which embrace open and mutually beneficial economic and trade collaborations, Singapore and Zhejiang should accelerate such bilateral cooperation to demonstrate our support for open trade," she noted.

The collaboration agreement between Enterprise Singapore and Zhejiang's Commerce Department was among five pacts inked at the event involving Singapore-based entities.

Energy and commodities company Vitol Asia will form a joint venture with two port groups to support their bonded bunker fuel supply company in a Zhejiang free trade zone, while YCH Group netted an investment in its warehousing and logistics assets in South-east Asia and China.

In the urban solutions arena, Catalist-listed AnnAik will co-invest in rural, industrial and municipal environmental services projects, and energy management company Anacle will work on a smart town pilot project in the Zhejiang town of Guali.

The roundtable, which was attended by more than 100 government and business representatives, was billed as a follow-up to a Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council meeting in April.

The council, one of seven provincial business councils that Singapore has with China, was established in 2003.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2018, with the headline Singapore, Zhejiang to boost business ties in 5 sectors. Subscribe