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Enhanced opportunities in trade

Enhanced opportunities in trade, cross-border e-commerce, professional services and innovation for Singapore companies in Zhejiang, China

International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) continues
on its efforts to help Singapore companies gain access to Chinese markets and
innovation ecosystems.

Following collaborations in Guangdong,
Sichuan
and Beijing,
ways to drive more opportunities for Singapore companies in trade, cross-border
e-commerce, professional services and innovation were discussed
at the 12th Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council (SZETC) meeting in
Singapore today. The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Sim Ann, Senior Minister of
State (SMS), Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade
and Industry and Zhejiang Vice-Governor, Ms. Liang Liming. At the meeting, two
project agreements were signed to deepen collaboration on BRI. The SZETC is
supported by IE Singapore, the Secretariat for the Council.

Zhejiang province is known for its export-driven economy
housing the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities, and it is
also home to many top Chinese private enterprises, including Alibaba, Geely and
NetEase. The province has the fourth largest GDP in China at S$948 billion. In
2016, its GDP reached 7.5%, exceeding China’s national average of 6.7%. From
January to September 2017, Singapore-Zhejiang bilateral trade grew 20%
year-on-year to reach S$3.6 billion. As of June 2017, Singapore’s cumulative
actual investment in Zhejiang reached S$7 billion with 1,178 projects.

Singapore companies including startups such as M-DAQ (FinTech) and Ninja Van (logistics) and large
corporates such as Surbana Jurong (infrastructure) have been gaining headway in
Zhejiang province. The Zhejiang ‘s efforts to improve economic competitiveness
by pushing services development and economic reforms in line with China’s Belt
and Road (BRI) Initiative are expected to drive more trade flows and
opportunities in professional services, cross-border e-commerce and innovation.

SMS Sim said, “Zhejiang, with its vibrant private sector, is
at the forefront of economic reforms and innovation in China. As key nodes
pushing China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Singapore and Zhejiang can partner in
trade, professional services, crossborder e-commerce and innovation, especially
with the development of Zhejiang (Zhoushan) Free Trade Zone. Singapore
companies’ expertise and networks in IE Singapore Media Release 1 December 2017
Page 2 of 8 Southeast Asia also complement Zhejiang enterprises’
internationalisation in the region.” (Please see Annex 2 for SMS Sim’s speech.)

Trade and
professional services

Launched in April, the Zhejiang (Zhoushan) Free Trade Zone
(FTZ) aims to be an internationally competitive integrated base for resources
and will strongly boost trade flows. Zhoushan has the largest oil and coal
import and export port in East China. This brings new opportunities for oil and
petrochemicals commodity trading and provision of services such as bunkering
and risk management. As a key oil trade and financing hub in the region,
Singapore companies across the trade value chain are well-positioned to partner
Zhejiang FTZ.

Internationalisation
of Zhejiang enterprises

Singapore, being a global financial and trading hub, with
its strong connectivity and knowledge of Southeast Asia, can partner Zhejiang
enterprises to expand in the region. IE Singapore is working with China
Zhejiang Centre (Singapore) to facilitate Singapore-Zhejiang partnerships to
boost trade between Zhejiang and Southeast Asia through Singapore. China’s
announcement on its third batch of FTZs include Chongqing, Henan, Hubei,
Liaoning, Shaanxi, Sichuan and Zhejiang. As of June 2017, 179 Zhejiang
enterprises have set up in Singapore, with investments totalling S$3 billion.

Cross-border
e-commerce

Zhejiang houses the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce
Pilot Zone, the nation’s first comprehensive pilot zone for cross-border
e-commerce. Zhejiang is at the forefront of innovative e-commerce services such
as customs clearances and ecommerce transactions.

Singapore companies’ strengths in the e-commerce value chain
and networks
in Southeast Asia
complement Zhejiang’s interests to expand into the
region. For example, Ninja Van, a last-mile logistics company, has partnered
several Zhejiang companies to pilot its new cross-border logistics services in
Southeast Asia. Broadening its business segments beyond last-mile fulfilment,
Ninja Van has developed end-to-end cross-border solutions for Chinese merchants
keen to list their products on e-marketplaces in Southeast Asia, while
providing cross-border logistics services for these China outbound parcels to
reach consumers in the region.

Innovation

Zhejiang has a vibrant innovation scene, adding to its
strong e-commerce ecosystem. Singapore companies can tap Zhejiang as an
innovation hub to collaborate with Zhejiang companies on innovation.

Venturecraft’s incubator in Singapore-Hangzhou Science &
Technology Park (SHSTP) has facilitated several Singapore start-ups to innovate
and expand beyond Zhejiang to the rest of China. Venturecraft is a private
investment group and venture capital platform. It has committed over S$300
million to invest in Singapore companies with strong intellectual property and
high potential for commercialisation.

One example is BeMyGuest, an online travel platform
providing travel activities and tours in Asia. It set up its first presence in
China in Venturecraft’s incubator, partnering Ctrip. With this collaboration,
BeMyGuest has seen a tenfold growth in bookings.

Featured
image
: Baycrest/ CC BY 2.5

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