SINGAPORE – Bilateral trade between Singapore and China’s Sichuan province grew more than 10 per cent year on year between January and June this year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trade for the six-month period reached US$808 million (S$1.09 billion), during which the Republic was Sichuan’s largest foreign investor, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng on Friday (Sept 17).
As at the end of June 2021, there were about 685 Singapore projects in the province, cumulative investments of nearly US$8 billion.
Further collaboration in trade and connectivity, innovation as well as the green economy, between the two jurisdictions were discussed at the 22nd Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee meeting on Friday, which was held virtually.
In his speech, Dr Tan said that as Sichuan embarks on new urbanisation projects, it can work with Singapore on urban revitalisation, planning and management, as well as sustainability initiatives to support each other’s vision of developing green, smart and liveable cities.
Singapore has built strong capabilities in infrastructure development to optimise use of resources and experiential designs to liven up precincts and rejuvenate buildings, he pointed out.
Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said in an accompanying press release that Singapore companies such as architecture firm RSP participated in the inaugural Sichuan-Chongqing Housing and Urban-Rural Development Expo in June this year, where they showcased their capabilities in smart and green construction and explored potential business deals.
At the same time, companies in Sichuan and Singapore can tap on the two jurisdictions’ strategic locations as key trade gateways to access new opportunities, Dr Tan said.
“Sichuan companies can leverage our strategic location along the world’s major trade, shipping and aviation routes, our vibrant trade ecosystem, well-developed infrastructure, as well as a dense network of free trade agreements to reach key international markets,” he noted.
Similarly, Singapore firms can tap Sichuan’s position as the key gateway to West China and the development of the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, Dr Tan said.
The minister also pointed out how good progress has been made in the three themes of the committee – the Belt and Road Initiative, innovation and internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises.
For example, ESG and the Singapore Enterprise Centre (Chengdu) launched the Singapore Pavilion on the Spark programme, an online business-to-business matching platform.
Ten Singapore brands have listed more than 120 types of products on the platform through the programme.
At the same time, Singapore firms such as food manufacturers Ha Li Fa, which owns the BoBo fishball brand, and Yeo Hiap Seng have found partners to bring Singapore food and flavours into Sichuan, Dr Tan said.
Seven memoranda of understanding were signed at the meeting on Friday, including an agreement to develop a food industrial park in Chengdu Medical City in Wenjiang District.
The industrial park will be Mapletree’s second food facility in Sichuan, and it aims to enhance food safety and risk management for Chengdu’s food manufacturing sector.
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