S'pore, Guangxi boost economic cooperation

(From fourth left) Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, Chinese Communist Party Secretary of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Lu Xinshe and Charge d'Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Singapore Zhang
(From fourth left) Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, Chinese Communist Party Secretary of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Lu Xinshe and Charge d'Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Singapore Zhang Xumin launching the China-Asean Multimodal Transportation Alliance yesterday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Ties between Singapore and the Guangxi region in southern China were bolstered at a forum here yesterday that included new agreements to enhance business collaboration across the region.

The forum focused on the new land-sea corridor to facilitate trade between South-east Asia and western China through Singapore.

Seven agreements were signed to promote business projects and increase cooperation between companies here and in the region and organisations from Guangxi.

They included an investment cooperation pact between Guangxi Investment Group and Grab Singapore and a renewed partnership between United Overseas Bank and Guangxi LiuGong Machinery to improve supply chain financing for the Chinese firm's customers as it expands across South-east Asia.

There was also a ceremony to establish the China-Asean Multimodal Transportation Alliance, which will bring Asean countries into the China-Singapore Nanning International Logistics Park.

The alliance - which includes representatives from the 10 Asean countries, the logistics park and the Asean Federation of Forwarders Association - is intended to boost multilateral trade by strengthening the logistics and supply chain industry in Guangxi.

It will also contribute significantly to the Belt and Road Initiative and the land-sea corridor, an alliance spokesman said.

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo told the forum at the Mandarin Orchard hotel: "As China's gateway to Asean, Guangxi plays a key role in the development of the (New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor under the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative)."

Singapore Business Federation chairman Teo Siong Seng added: "Guangxi, with its advantageous location, excellent business environment, wide economic hinterland and innovative reforms, is actively creating a strategic transport channel connecting the Belt and Road with efficient service and competitive pricing in the shortest time possible."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore, Guangxi boost economic cooperation'. Print Edition | Subscribe