China is still a big market with plenty of opportunities for Singapore companies, says Minister Chan

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said there are still plenty of opportunities for Singapore companies in China not only in coastal provinces but in the western and central regions as well.

He was speaking at China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai while touring the Singapore booths in the Trade and Service section. Mr Chan said that the government is working close with their Chinese counterparts to help facilitate a better, collaborative arrangement for both parties, citing the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA). The agreement acts as a tool to help companies lower both tariff and non-tariff barriers that Singapore companies face when trying to enter the Chinese market.

China is still a big market with plenty of opportunities for Singapore companies at varying market tiers and stages of development. Mr Chan pointed out that one of the ways they hope to ease a collaboration is to establish a mutual recognition of standards between the two countries, such as in professional services.

He said, “It is very useful for both countries to have this mutual recognition of standards, how we can better integrate our systems of customs clearance…in order to facilitate greater collaboration between Singapore companies and the Chinese companies.”

Mr Chan listed three things that the Singapore government apparently “really want to do” in terms of this partnership with China. These are:

  1. Get more Singapore companies to venture out of the established cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guang Zhou.
  2. Attract Chinese companies to use Singapore as a platform to explore the Southeast Asia markets
  3. For Singapore and Chinese companies to collaborate in exploring third-party markets

Earlier this week, Mr Chan had witnessed the signing of three business deals between Singapore and China in agricultural commodities trading, logistics and metal mineral. The companies involved were Singapore-based PIL Logistics and the commodity trading company Trafigura Group.