UOB signs two deals to boost Chinese firms' expansion into Southeast Asia

A logo of the United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB).
A logo of the United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB).PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Local lender UOB signed two agreements to facilitate Chinese companies expanding into Southeast Asia through China's Belt and Road initiative.

Mr Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and chief executive of UOB, said: "China and Southeast Asia form one of the main trade and investment corridors of the Belt and Road initiative. UOB, with deep roots and wide reach in Southeast Asia, is well placed to help Chinese companies understand the opportunities in local markets, develop their entry strategies and navigate the complexities of doing business in the region."

The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with China's national business association, the Chinese Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).

Through the collaboration, Chinese companies represented by the CCOIC will be able to access UOB's local and cross-border solutions, as well as UOB's network of Southeast Asian partners.

This agreement is an extension of UOB's partnership with the China Council for the promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), China's largest institution for the promotion of foreign trade.

Mr Jiang Zengwei, chairman of both CCPIT and CCOIC, said: "We believe that the CCOIC-UOB MOU is instrumental in our support of companies across sectors as they seize business opportunities arising from the continued progress of the Belt and Road initiative."

UOB said in a press release that it is the first and only Southeast Asian bank to enter into MOUs with both these national Chinese commercial institutions.

The second memorandum of understanding was signed in Qingdao with the Qingjian Group, the largest construction conglomerate in Shangdong province.

Under the agreement, UOB will offer Qingjian financial solutions such as project financing and capital markets advisory services.

The two companies will also explore deeper collaboration in cash management, cross-border trade and investment.

Through Qingjian Group, UOB will also work with other Shandong-based companies seeking expansion into Southeast Asia.