SINGAPORE - More Chinese companies have chosen Singapore as a launch pad to take their businesses international, with China's stock of direct investments here increasing about 10 per cent each year on average since 2010.
As of end-2017, such investments in Singapore hit $36.3 billion, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Feb 11).
In a written response to Ms Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC), Mr Chan said the Chinese government has "made clear its preparedness to bolster domestic demand" amid external uncertainties and slowing growth.
China's growth eased to 6.6 per cent in 2018, down from 10.6 per cent in 2010. The International Monetary Fund has projected China's 2019 GDP growth to be 6.2 per cent.
Given that the easing has been gradual, companies would have carefully made their business calculations and projections accordingly, said Mr Chan.
He noted that companies recognise China's economy is maturing, and this includes shifting from an export-led and investment-oriented growth model to one driven by domestic consumption.
Amid headwinds, however, he stressed that there remain opportunities as China continues to liberalise and pursue its "provincial-regional strategies".
Examples include the integrated development of mega-regions such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Yangtze River Delta.
"Provinces and municipalities like Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shanghai have maintained growth rates on par with or above China's national average last year," he said.
To support Singapore companies' investments in China, the Republic has also set up a network of provincial business councils in areas like Guangdong, Jiangsu and Tianjin, Mr Chan added.
"With the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement upgrade to be ratified later this year, Singapore companies can also look forward to improved market access in goods and services," he said.