SRBF 2017 flags joint regional cooperation as key to seizing business opportunities and concretizing Belt and Road Initiative projects
- Over 600 top business leaders and senior government officials from over 40 countries and regions expected to attend this year’s Forum
- Three MOUs inked at SRBF to spur regional connectivity and collaboration
- SBF and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) jointly launch English version of the Belt & Road Digital Portal to provide regional perspective on BRI
- SBF and the Economist Corporate Network (ECN) jointly release results of inaugural regional business survey on BRI
Helmed by 36 captains of industry, discussions will centre on bridging existing gaps to accelerate the concretisation of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, highlighting the importance of joint and third country collaborations and reinforcing Singapore’s role as a connector to promote regional and multi-party cooperation, as well as to maximise the benefits of the Initiative.
Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, will deliver a keynote speech at the Forum and share more insights into ongoing engagements between Singapore and China.
The opening keynote address will be delivered by Mr Justin Yifu Lin, Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank and Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. Special guest speaker, H.E. Carlos Dominguez III, Secretary of Finance from the Republic of the Philippines will also address the audience.
Helping Businesses Network and Explore BRI Opportunities
A flagship event of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Singapore and IE Singapore, alongside several business chambers, associations and organizations, SRBF 2017 will bring together more than 600 top business leaders and senior government officials from over 40 countries and regions to network and explore business opportunities related to BRI projects.
Themed “Seizing Business Opportunities through Regional Cooperation”, this year’s Forum features a plenary session and four discussion tracks, alongside exciting highlights such as business matching and networking sessions, launch of the Belt & Road English Portal and the inaugural BRI regional business survey report. These activities aim to expand outreach to help businesses manage challenges in the investment environment and concretize the BRI projects in countries along the Belt and Road.
MOUs to Spur Regional Connectivity and Partnerships
Three MOUs will be inked at SRBF to spur regional connectivity and collaboration:
- Between Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Chinese Enterprises Association to jointly launch a “BRI Connect” Platform to enable regional businesses to concretize BRI projects in Singapore, China and countries along the Belt & Road. The Platform will serve as a springboard and connector for the regional business community to concretize and implement BRI projects in areas such as Market Intelligence & Research, BRI Project Information Sharing, BRI Project Feasibility Studying & Evaluation, BRI Project Investment & Financing, Legal & Arbitration Consultation, Online & Offline BRI Project Matching, BRI Talent Capability Development and BRI Success Story Sharing & Project Showcase.
- Between SBF member Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (“PIL”), PSA International Pte Ltd (“PSA”) and IBM Singapore Pte Ltd (“IBM”) to explore and develop proof of concept blockchain-based supply chain solutions. The three parties will work together to explore Proof Of Concept disruptive technology, using blockchain to achieve better security, efficiency and transparency in the supply chain network, as well as connect to blockchain-based trade finance solutions that can facilitate faster approval and help to prevent fraud.
- Between SBF and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to further develop the trade and economic relations between the Philippines and Singapore, particularly in the area of Belt and Road Initiative Projects and SME engagement.
Belt & Road English Portal
The English version of the Belt & Road Digital Portal will be officially launched by Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance. Jointly presented by SBF and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the portal aims to satisfy the increasing demand for Belt and Road related news and provide a regional perspective on the Initiative. It will also highlight Singapore’s role in the BRI and the impact on the region and the world.
Report on BRI Business Survey
SBF and the Economist Corporate Network (ECN) will jointly release the results of an inaugural regional business survey on progress perceptions of the BRI (Please refer to Annex B for the Summary Points of the report “Up and Running? Opportunity and Risk along China’s Belt and Road Initiative”). A link to the full report is available here.
21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Inclusive and Sustainable Growth
The 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) initiative is part of the Belt and Road development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aimed at increasing regional connectivity and collaboration, encouraging joint and third country collaboration for projects in the region, as well as promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.
The number of contracted projects in countries along the Belt and Road by China has picked up momentum in 2016, which is reflected by a combined business revenue of US$75.97 billion, an increase of 9.7% year-on-year. This trend is likely to continue this year with countries pledging their support for the BRI, alongside with a larger number of BRI projects undergoing construction.
Commenting on the Initiative, SBF Chairman Mr SS Teo said, “The third SRBF will discuss and examine practical approaches to bridge existing gaps and accelerate the concretization of Belt and Road Initiative related projects, especially those strategically located along the MSR. These discussions will equip organizations with the essential knowledge and skills to manage challenges and realize the full potential of the BRI.”
He added, “The Belt and Road Initiative possesses great potential to be a game-changer for participating countries. With numerous opportunities emerging, we urge businesses to reflect and quickly ascertain their next move for the Belt and Road Initiative. We should step up our efforts today by offering our expertise to fellow members of the business community and seize business opportunities through regional cooperation.”
The Forum is sponsored by China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC), Bank of China (BOC), China Taiping, DBS Bank, Deloitte & Touche LLP, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), MCC Land (Singapore) Limited, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC), Pacific International Lines (PIL), Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), Starhub Ltd, and United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB).
BRI Business Survey Report: Up and Running? Opportunity and Risk along China's Belt and Road Initiative
Annex A - SRBF 2017's Speakers and Panellists
Annex B - Summary Points of “Up and Running? Opportunity and Risk along China’s Belt and Road Initiative" Report
Keynote Speech by Minister for National Development & Second Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong
Opening Address by SBF Chairman Mr SS Teo