Singapore and Zhejiang deepen collaboration in urban solutions, e-commerce, wholesale trade and logistics
At the 13th Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council (SZETC) meeting in Zhoushan city, meeting co-chaired by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Culture, Community and Youth & Trade and Industry, and Zhejiang Vice Governor Zhu Congjiu, 14 agreements were signed by Singapore companies.
The two sides discussed deeper collaboration in urban solutions, e-commerce, wholesale trade and logistics at the meeting. The discussion and these agreements are in line with Zhejiang’s priorities in urban-rural development reforms, industrial upgrading, trade liberalisation and e-commerce to maintain its economic competitiveness.
SMS Sim said, “Trade and economic ties between Singapore and Zhejiang have been growing steadily. The 14 project collaborations signed today are testament to Singapore’s continued strong interest in the province. 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. 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 SZETC is supported by Enterprise Singapore, which has the role of the Secretariat for the Council. Over 80 government and business representatives from financial services, logistics, oil and gas, professional services, real estate and wholesale trade are on the business mission from 25 April to 27 April 2018, in conjunction with the SZETC meeting.
Zhejiang province was ranked fourth in China in terms of GDP (S$1,080 billion in 2017). In 2017, its GDP grew 7.8%, above China’s national average of 6.9%. Bilateral trade between Singapore and Zhejiang increased 24% to reach S$5.2 billion in 2017. As of end December 2017, Singapore’s cumulative actual investments in the province reached S$7.2 billion with 1,201 projects.
As the province continues to push for urban development and industrial upgrading, several MOUs related to urban township development were signed.
Anacle, a Singapore firm providing enterprise property management software and smart energy solutions to the real estate and utility sectors, entered into a joint venture with a real estate developer in Zhejiang called Enjoytown to co-develop and provide smart city and township management solutions.
CapitaLand, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies, and Surbana Jurong, one of the largest Asia-based urban, industrial and infrastructure consulting firms, signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Zhejiang Communication Investment Real Estate Group to develop a new township, the High Speed Rail New City in Jiaxing.
CapitaLand will explore the development of the township’s Central Business District, as well as commercial and residential properties, while Surbana Jurong will explore the development of the masterplan for the township and development management services for the project.
Under another MoU with Ningbo city’s Haishu District Government, CapitaLand will explore investing in a business park comprising research & development facilities, offices, residences and civic & community facilities that supports Ningbo’s push to attract higher-tech manufacturing industries under China’s Made in China 2025 blueprint.
Zhejiang is a leading province for cross-border e-commerce, with a strong ecosystem of players including e-commerce platforms, brand owners and crossborder logistics players. Singapore companies, with their expertise and networks, can work with Zhejiang to tap regional opportunities, especially in Southeast Asia.
Singapore-headquartered real estate development, investment and capital management company, Mapletree has signed a MOU with Zhoushan City Government to develop an international logistics park in Zhoushan serving the demand for international e-commerce, cold chain distribution and international logistics.
YCH Group, a Singapore end-to-end supply chain solutions provider, and Forchn Holdings are also working together on supply chain service offerings for Southeast Asia and China, including e-commerce and omnichannel logistics. Forchn Holdings is an investment holding company founded by prominent Zhejiang entrepreneur Zhang Guobiao. It specialises in e-commerce logistics services and real estate, among others.
YCH Group and Forchn Holdings signed an agreement yesterday to launch a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) private equity fund to develop and acquire logistics assets for e-commerce and other industries in key cities along the Belt and Road, particularly in China and Southeast Asia.
Wholesale trade and logistics
With the Zhejiang government driving the development of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) under the BRI, there are opportunities for Singapore companies in port and maritime services, bunkering services, petroleum trading services and distribution. These are complementary areas, given Singapore’s position as a key trading and financing hub and deep expertise as a free trade port.
At the council meeting, Singapore and Zhoushan discussed further collaboration in maritime logistics, bunker supply and wholesale petroleum trading for a free trade port.
Initial progress was signified with two agreements. Glencore Singapore, the energy trading arm of Glencore, a commodities trading and mining company, is partnering Zhejiang Petroleum to establish a joint venture in the China (Zhejiang) Pilot FTZ to conduct and promote oil trading in the region.
In addition, Consort Bunkers signed a MOU with the Zhoushan government to collaborate on the marine bunkering value chain. Consort Bunkers is a Singapore company specialising in bunkering and barging, and is expanding into freight for foreign and coastal voyage
Supporting Singapore companies to grab opportunities in China
The Singapore Government has ben actively helping local companies gain access to Chinese markets, as well as technology. In August 2017, IE Singapore (Enterprise Singapore was formed recently through a merger between SPRING and IE Singapore) and Ascendas-Singbridge launched the Singapore Manufacturing Innovation Centre (SMIC) in Guangzhou, a one-stop shop to facilitate partnerships between Singapore Industry 4.0 technology solutions providers and Chinese enterprises looking to adopt such solutions.
In October, IE Singapore signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Chinese tech partners to help more Singapore companies gain access to the market and its innovation ecosystem.
In December, Singapore’s Minister for Finance, Mr. Heng Swee Keat officially launched the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) (Beijing). The GIA was a key recommendation in the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) 2016 report. It aims to strengthen linkages and partnerships with leading innovation hubs around the world, increasing access and opportunities for Singapore students and enterprises.
Earlier this month, under the ASEAN chairmanship of Singapore, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China officially launched the ASEAN-China Year of Innovation. As part of this, China can cooperate with ASEAN in the areas of e-commerce, smart cities and the ASEAN Innovation Network, which seeks to strengthen the linkages between innovation ecosystems in ASEAN Member States to spark new collaborations and solutions.