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
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
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
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
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
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.