Skip to main content

Belt and Road Initiative cooperation a new highlight in Sino-Singapore ties: Teo Chee Hean

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the China Lanzhou Investment and Trade Fair, on July 5, 2018.ST PHOTO: CHONG KOH PING

Chong Koh Ping

China Correspondent


LANZHOU - Singapore and China are old friends who have been able to nurture and evolve bilateral ties over time to meet their needs and national interests.

And today, 40 years after China opened up to the world, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an area which both countries can work on together, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday (July 5).

"Historically, Singapore has been a key node along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and remains globally-connected today," Mr Teo said in a speech at the 24th China Lanzhou Investment and Trade Fair, in Lanzhou, provincial capital of northwestern Gansu.

"As globally-connected countries, Singapore and China are natural partners for the long-term development of the BRI," added Mr Teo, who is on a nine-day visit to China.

The ambitious plan initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 aims to revive two ancient trading routes on land and sea. They will link China to other parts of Asia, the Middle East, and onward to Africa and Europe through a series of roads, railways, port and industrial parks.

China aims to use this to export its overcapacity in heavy industries, build internationally competitive homegrown companies and spur growth in its western provinces.

Mr Teo listed infrastructure connectivity, financial connectivity, cooperation in third countries and professional services as four key areas where both countries can combine their strengths and expertise to build the trading routes.

Speaking to some 500 government officials and business executives, Mr Teo said the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI), the latest joint project between Singapore and China, is one example of how both countries can cooperate to substantially lower logistics costs, and speed up and increase the flow of goods and services.

A key innovation from this initiative is the Southern Transport Corridor (STC), a network of railway lines that links western Chinese cities and provinces, including Chongqing, to southern Guangxi, and from Guangxi to Singapore and beyond by sea.

Mr Teo noted that this corridor is strategically significant as it is the "first substantive link" between the two ancient silk roads.

It cuts the time to transport goods between Chongqing and Singapore from three weeks to about one week.

"It is a new direct, reliable, secure and shorter link that is entirely within China, to connect the provinces in Western China to the sea," said Mr Teo.

Saying that Singapore welcomes all parties to use this open platform, he said: "With more stakeholders, we can aggregate volume, build economies of scale and lower costs."

On financial connectivity, Mr Teo said China and Singapore can deepen financial linkages to support infrastructure financing needs in Asia and speed up yuan internationalisation.

Also, Singapore and Chinese companies can work together in fintech and digital finance for regional growth, he said.

A third area of cooperation is for both countries to work together in third countries.

Singapore and Chinese companies can partner each other in their overseas expansion.

Said Mr Teo: "By working together, our companies can bring their own comparative advantages to the table, including their business networks, local knowledge and technical know-how."

Both countries are also exploring jointly conducting training for officials from other Belt and Road countries to build greater capacity to embark successfully on Belt and Road projects, he added.

Finally, Singapore and China can work together to provide supporting professional services such as architectural, engineering, auditing and legal services to help deliver BRI projects "according to the agreements, on time and on budget".

Later on Thursday, Mr Teo will meet Gansu party boss Lin Duo and Gansu governor Tan Renjian before ending his visit to China.


Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…