The International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commission of Commerce of Chengdu to help homegrown firms expand their presence in Sichuan Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
The signing of the deal allows Singapore companies to widen their footprint in the Chinese city specifically in areas of trade and logistics, financial and professional services, and information technology and innovation. IE Singapore is the first foreign government institution to forge ties with Chengdu's Commission of Commerce on the FTZ, after China announced its third batch of seven trade zones.
Sichuan FTZ covers three main areas, spanning 120 square kilometers across Chengdu and Luzhou cities.
The deal further solidifies the strong economic relations established by the Singapore-Sichuan Trade and Investment Committee (SSTIC). It will explore partnerships beyond modern services, modern living, and modern manufacturing.
The deal is also seen to benefit the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park situated within the FTZ.
In a statement, IE Singapore CEO Lee Ark Boon said Singapore was Chengdu's second largest foreign investor in 2016 after the United States. Singapore projects in the province's capital grew from over 280 in 2011 to over 430 last year. These projects are spread across sectors including infrastructure, transport and logistics, food services, technology, finance and education
"IE Singapore's FTZ partnership builds on these existing close ties with Chengdu. As its market liberalises, we see potential for new partnerships and deeper knowledge exchange between Singapore and Chinese companies. Through our MOU, we hope to make it easier for more Singapore companies to engage the local authorities and access business opportunities," he noted.
IE Singapore will work closely with the city's commerce commission to promote trade and logistics services, which will enhance air, rail, and road connectivity. The two will also work together to promote IT development especially in terms of technology transfer and talent exchange programmes.