Singapore and Zhejiang are to speed up and deepen collaboration in areas including financial services.
The Singapore-Zhejiang Economic and Trade Council (SZETC) will be looking into that effort as it enters its second decade, said the Singapore secretariat for the council International Enterprise (IE) Singapore in a statement on Tuesday.
Zhejiang is the fourth largest economy in China with a GDP growth of eight per cent at S$707.9 billion last year, the statement noted.
However, privately owned enterprises in the province — a key element in Zhejiang’s economic growth — have been hit by the economic downturn in the last two years.
In response, China’s central government has pushed for wide financial reforms in Zhejiang to help the enterprises, including installing more regulated channels for private capital to enter the financial sector, and meeting the funding demands of the companies.
The statement said Singapore is well placed to bridge the gap.
The People’s Bank of China has recently appointed the Singapore branch of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China as the renminbi clearing bank for Singapore.
To date, more than 400 Chinese companies have set up in Singapore to gain access to the 700 financial institutions here so as to obtain credit that is critical to their operations.
Zhejiang companies can establish their presence in Singapore to reach out to a wider base of clients and business partners, the statement said.
They can use Singapore as a strategic base to invest in third-country markets, and then repatriate profits back to the province.
On the part of Singapore, its financial players can tap on the growth.
Singapore’s OCBC Bank has set up its first branch office in Shaoxing in June this year, becoming the first foreign bank in the city.
Other Singapore banks such as DBS and UOB also have branch offices in Hangzhou, Zhejiang’s capital city.
Further collaboration in other areas between Singapore and Zhejiang includes smart city master-planning and development.
Singapore and Zhejiang are also to strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations.
The statement was issued after the 9th SZETC meeting in Hangzhou, Zhejiang on Tuesday.
Singapore’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu and Zhejiang Vice Governor Liang Liming co-chaired the meeting.
Ms Fu, who is also Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Environment & Water Resources, said: “Currently in its 10th year, the SZETC continues to be an important platform in advancing bilateral relations between Singapore and Zhejiang.”
“Our projects have moved in tandem with the province’s development, diversifying from real estate and manufacturing industries, to include modern services,” she added.
Source : Channel News Asia | November 26, 2013