Xihoumen bridge in Zhejiang province, China. lightrain/Shutterstock
Singapore-based companies signed no less than 14 agreements with mainland Chinese firms recently at a trade meeting aimed at deepening the city-state’s commitment to the Belt and Road initiative.
Some of the biggest Singaporean developers were in attendance at the 13th Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council (SZETC) gathering of high-level stakeholders in various sectors from real estate and logistics to e-commerce.
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry Sim Ann, who co-chaired the meeting with Zhejiang Vice Governor Zhu Congjiu, called the 14 MOUs (memorandums of undersanding) a “testament to Singapore’s continued strong interest” in Zhejiang.
“As a global maritime, logistics and energy hub, Singapore and our companies are well-placed to partner Chinese firms to contribute to the development of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone,” she said. “In addition, Singapore’s position as a key node along the Belt and Road makes us an ideal partner for Zhejiang enterprises expanding to Southeast Asia.”
The gathering was designed partly as an opportunity for Zhejiang officials to facilitate urban-rural development reforms in the province, the fourth-biggest in mainland China in terms of GDP which grew 7.8 percent last year.
Singaporean property development giants CapitaLand, Surbana Jurong and Mapletree figured in the deals that sought, among others, to build more urban townships around the province.
Among the most notable MOUs is a joint venture between CapitaLand, Surbana Jurong, and Zhejiang Communication Investment Real Estate Group to build a masterplanned community around Jiaxing’s high-speed rail line.
Bilateral trade between Singapore and Zhejiang was valued at $5.2 billion in 2017, up 24 percent over the year.