Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an infrastructure and economic development strategy launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of connecting 65 countries across three continents via China. In Southeast Asia, China wants to develop infrastructure along the naval trading route called the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. With MOUs signed with Enterprise Singapore and five key Chinese banks in 2016 and 2017, Singapore companies have access to financing and collaboration opportunities with their Chinese counterparts for infrastructure, logistics, and many other projects in the region.

Digital economy leader

China’s rising digital economy was worth US$3.35 billion in 2016, accounting for 30.3% of GDP. The country also accounts for over 40% of global e-commerce transaction value, with US$1.9 trillion worth of transactions in 2016. There is great potential for Chinese and Singapore organisations to co-develop and implement new technology solutions in China, ASEAN and beyond.

Diverse opportunities

China has set a ‘mid-high’ GDP growth target of 6.5% in 2018 to leave room for quality growth. While China is unlikely to enjoy the double-digit growth rates of previous decades, provinces and cities outside traditional powerhouses such as Beijing and Shanghai still abound with opportunities for Singapore firms.

China is economically very diverse, with regions in different stages of development and having different needs. China’s focus on urbanisation, domestic consumption and the digital economy presents many opportunities, especially in second and third-tier cities. There is potential in infrastructure, technology, as well as consumer lifestyle industries such as education, healthcare and professional services.