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  • Four partnerships forged at SRBF® to strengthen business collaboration for regional connectivity

Four partnerships forged at SRBF® to strengthen business collaboration for regional connectivity

  • Four MoUs signed at SRBF® to foster stronger third-party market collaboration in the region
  • Over 600 top business leaders, diplomats and senior government officials from more than 50 countries and regions attended this year’s SRBF®.
  • More than 30 distinguished speakers and panelists from across the globe shared their experience and expertise.
  • SBF and PwC Singapore jointly released results of second regional business survey on BRI
Thursday, 15 August 2019 [Singapore] In its fifth year, the Singapore Regional Business Forum (SRBF®), an annual flagship event of the SBF, focused on the importance of collaboration and connectivity within the region to ensure the success and effectively address challenges in regional projects such as the BRI.

Themed “Strengthening Business Collaboration for Regional Connectivity”, this year’s forum, was graced by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security as Guest-of-Honour. The event underscored Singapore’s role as a key connector and gateway city for international trade and commerce, reinforcing its proposition as an ideal launchpad for regional infrastructure projects. More than 30 distinguished speakers and panelists from across the globe also shared their experience and expertise at the event.

Four partnerships were launched at the SRBF®, strengthening collaboration for the success of regional projects to boost infrastructure development and connectivity.

The Singapore Business Federation and the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to identify third-party market projects for potential collaboration with Singapore companies under the BRI.

These projects will cut across a wide range of sectors including public-private partnership projects in infrastructure, port development, urban development, energy and environment projects.

Mr S.S. Teo, Chairman, SBF said, “Over the years, there have been several collaborations between CHEC and Singapore companies in infrastructure projects in third-party markets under the BRI such as the Colombo Port City Development Project in Sri Lanka.

“With this MoU, we hope to foster more of such collaborations so that more Singapore companies can participate in these projects from direct investment, project financing to project execution.”

The SBF also signed an MoU with Chinese developers MCC Singapore and Union Development Group to strengthen cooperation on the sustainable development of Cambodia-China Comprehensive Investment and Development Zone and Cambodian Dara Sakor Seashore Resort.

The Dara Sakor project will comprise an international airport, seaport, industrial park, and luxury resort complete with power stations, water treatment plants and medical facilities. Under the MoU, SBF will promote related projects and investment opportunities to the Singapore business community.

Two other MoUs were also inked at the forum. PIL Logistics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pacific International Lines and China’s HOdo Group, a joint developer of the Cambodia Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ), agreed to jointly engage and leverage each other’s strength in the areas of logistics business parks and international logistics and supply chain to strengthen the link between China and ASEAN companies.

The fourth MoU was signed between Pacific International Lines and the ASEAN Federation of Forwarders Associations (AFFA) to collaborate and strengthen the multilateral trade in shipping and logistics between China and ASEAN, in support of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor which will improve the connectivity between Guangxi, China, and ASEAN.

Second Regional Survey on the BRI
At the forum, SBF and PwC Singapore jointly released the results of the second Regional Business Survey on the BRI. Titled “Delving into the BRI: How Regional Players Plan to Leverage BRI Business Opportunities”, this exclusive survey of senior representatives from multinational organisations, professional services firms and financial institutions sought to understand how organisations have participated in the BRI since its launch six years ago in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Conducted in June and July 2019, the online survey asked respondents on their interest, level of involvement and plans with regards to BRI-related opportunities. Among the key findings, Singapore was seen as having the second most BRI opportunities at 57%, just behind Vietnam at 66% and tied with Indonesia also at 57%. Respondents also saw smart cities and urban development as the top sector of opportunities at 43%. While they saw opportunities, 75% respondents also identified political risk as the top risk they see in getting involved with BRI projects. Download the full report at www.srbf.org.sg.

Strengthening Business Collaboration for Regional Connectivity
In his welcome speech, Mr Teo, Chairman of SBF called for a more connected ASEAN to unlock more economic opportunities, spur innovation and provide a long-term foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth. Greater regional connectivity forged would be beneficial for businesses, he added.

Guest-of-Honour SM Teo delivered the keynote address at the forum, while Mr Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, in his keynote speech, focused on regional connectivity and the green imperative.

A morning plenary panel discussion at the forum, moderated by Mr Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, examined how collaboration between public and private enterprises, multilateral institutions, investors as well as commercial banks from Singapore and the region can be furthered strengthened for the success of regional projects.

The panel included Liew Mun Leong, Chairman of Changi Airport Group and Surbana Jurong Group; Mr Boon Chin Hau, Managing Director, GIC Private Limited; Mr Zhou Haijang, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, HOdo Group; Mr Chu Gang, Chief Operating Officer, China International Capital Corporation Limited; Mr Geoffrey Tan, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Mr Frederico Donato, President, European Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Forum also featured a luncheon plenary by a special guest speaker, His Excellency Mr Hong Xiaoyong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Singapore.

In the afternoon, four discussion tracks, namely “Lubricating the Wheel – Investing in BRI Projects and Project Financing”; “Dispute Resolution in BRI Projects”; “Showcase & Implementation of BRI Projects in ASEAN and the Region”, and “New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor”, delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities that regional connectivity can bring.

SBF Chairman Mr Teo said, “This is a milestone year for SRBF® which has served as a beneficial platform to examine practical approaches to bridge gaps and empower companies with the insights and skills to overcome challenges as they can ride on the regional connectivity developments for greater growth.

By bringing all the stakeholders together, we hope to bring about new connections and fresh opportunities for our businesses.”

The SRBF® will be followed by the inaugural Singapore Regional Infrastructure Summit (SRIS) on 16 August. Over the course of two days, a total of 70 speakers and panellists from across the globe will be sharing their experience and expertise.

The SRBF® and SRIS is supported by Business China, China Enterprises Association (Singapore), Infrastructure Asia, European Chamber of Commerce (Singapore), and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Forum is sponsored by MCC Singapore, China Construction Bank, DBS Bank, Pacific International Lines (PIL), PSA International, Chec Overseas Investment (CHEC), China International Capital Corporation (Singapore) (CICC), China Taiping Insurance (Singapore), China Telecom, Far East Organisation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Singapore Branch, Poh Tiong Choon Logistics, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Singapore Branch, Tiong Seng Construction, and V3 Group.

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