Ningbo at nightImage via Wikipedia

Singapore companies should seek out opportunities for business in China: PM

by Glenda Chong,

Updated 09:55 AM Jun 08, 2009


Travelling on the Hangzhou Bay Bridge from Ningbo to Shanghai yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had a first-hand look at how China is pushing ahead with concerted efforts to stimulate growth in its second-tier cities.

And he wrapped up his four-day visit to China with a call to Singapore companies to tap into China's growth and to seek out business opportunities in its outlying provinces.

At 36km, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, which opened last May, is the world's longest trans-oceanic bridge. Besides cutting the travelling distance between the business hub of Shanghai and the port city of Ningbo in Zhejiang by 120km, it is also seen as a reflection of China's commitment to infrastructure development to grow its economy.

Prime Minister Lee said that with a strong Singapore brand, Singaporean companies can tap into China's growth with more confidence.

Speaking to the Singapore media, Mr Lee said: "I think the private sector is playing a much wider role now. There are many projects which the private sector have taken up, taken the ball and (run with it) ... I think the scope has broadened - we are in more places and our business people are more confident."

At the same time, Mr Lee highlighted that the Singapore Government is cultivating relationships with several of the provinces where there is greater potential.

He said: "If you have a good relationship with the officials, it helps a great deal to open doors and open up opportunities for our business people."

While in Shanghai, Mr Lee met with Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng, where they exchanged views on how both sides can set a new direction for long-term economic sustainability.

Mr Yu also invited Mr Lee to visit Shanghai next year during the World Expo.

Before leaving for home, Mr Lee officiated a ceremony to mark the commencement of work on the Singapore Pavilion for World Expo 2010 - which will mark the island's largest undertaking at a world exposition.

China is Singapore's third-largest trading partner and top investment destination. Both countries signed the Singapore-China Free Trade Agreement last year, laying the foundation for further growth in bilateral trade and investments. Channel NewsAsia

From TODAY, News – Monday, 08-Jun-2009

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