Inaugural BRI Business Dialogue underscores joint regional cooperation between China, US and Singapore as key to seizing business opportunities and concretising Belt and Road Initiative projects80 top business leaders and industry experts, including a 30-pax delegation from China’s State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and large corporations from China; and Singapore and US companies based here, today shared insights on:
- iBRI progress to-date
- Outlook of BRI International Infrastructure Cooperation; and
- Forging strong regional cooperation for BRI projects
16 April 2018 [Singapore] - The inaugural BRI Business Dialogue on Navigating Opportunities for Fruitful Collaboration was co-organised with AmCham Singapore, China Development Research Foundation (CDRF), China International Contractors Association (CHINCA), and US-ASEAN Business Council and sponsored by Caterpillar.
The BRI Business Dialogue is a timely follow up to the bilateral meeting between Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing last week. The leaders identified the collaboration between both countries under the BRI as a “new highlight in our bilateral cooperation”. This cooperation includes infrastructural and financial connectivity, and third country collaboration. In particular, both leaders noted the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative – Southern Transport Corridor has connected that the overland Silk Road Economic Belt to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
A private-sector driven platform, the Dialogue is in line with the Singapore’s government’s overall direction to forge regional cooperation for BRI projects. Participants from China, US and Singapore discussed and shared valuable insights on concrete business opportunities and how they can materialise effectively.
During the Dialogue, Mr Pek Lian Guan, Chairman of SBF’s Infrastructure Committee, highlighted the importance of Singapore’s role in BRI. “Singapore is well-positioned to contribute to the realisation of the BRI. We are Asia’s infrastructure hub, with many companies involved in various aspects of infrastructure development. We are also a leading business centre, home to many financial institutions and specialists with the expertise to undertake infrastructure projects structuring and financing,” Mr Pek commented. “Furthermore, we have a critical mass of international banks with project financing capabilities. Currently, 60% of ASEAN project finance transactions are led by Singapore-based banks. With a fast-expanding suite of Chinese Yuan or RMB products, Singapore is in an ideal position to intermediate more RMB trade and investment-related flows.”
Madam Zhong Manying, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of PRC in Singapore, emphasised that “BRI is an important and collaborative platform that deepens the strategic relationship between various countries. Infrastructure is a priority sector for BRI and it requires all stakeholders to be fully committed. China and Singapore should strengthen our communications and exchanges, to surface concrete opportunities and effective solutions on Infrastructure projects for our companies.”
“In recent years, China’s international contractors sector is a fast developing sector riding on the wave of BRI. In 2017, the new contract value for our members is US 265.3billion, 8.7% increase year-on-year. There are 2 projects with a value more than US 10billion and 41 projects with a value more than US 1billion.” Commented Mr Fang Qiuchen, Chairman, CHINCA. CHINCA has a membership of more than 1500 contractors across China, covering majority of the companies involved in the development and investment of international infrastructure projects.
This BRI Business Dialogue is one of the flagship events under SBF’s BRI Connect Initiative, which provides both online and offline platforms for connecting various parties interested in BRI projects. SBF will be organising more events related to BRI later this year, including a special edition of Singapore Regional Business Forum cum Future China Global Forum in August, jointly organised with Business China.