Over 500 business representatives from 56 companies to attend 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) – largest since 2020

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), will be leading a business delegation of more than 500 senior business representatives from 56 Singapore companies to participate in the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE), in Shanghai, China from 5 – 10 November 2023. This will be the largest Singapore delegation since 2020 and follows the elevation of the bilateral relationship between China and Singapore to that of an “All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership” (全方位高质量的前瞻性伙伴关系) earlier this year.

Singapore business interest in China has remained resilient throughout the pandemic. Despite the challenges posed by border restrictions on business travel, SBF continued to bring businesses to participate in CIIE in the past few years with the support of Enterprise Singapore. At the 5th CIIE, 15 MOUs were signed between Singapore businesses and their Chinese counterparts, with an estimated total value exceeding SGD $4.5 million (RMB 20 million). Through the three years of pandemic (year 2020 to 2023), a total of 34 MoUs were signed, and our exhibitors reported a sales amount of almost SGD $23 million in value at CIIE.

CIIE remains an important platform for Singapore companies looking to gain a foothold in the Chinese market, as well as those looking to reconnect with existing partners and deepen their networks in the market. About 40% of Singapore exhibitors are participating in CIIE for the first time, while 60% are repeat exhibitors. One of the largest metal finishing companies in Singapore, Applied Total Control Treatment Pte Ltd, will be participating for the first time. Repeat exhibitors include Fun Learners’ School Pte Ltd.

The theme of Singapore’s participation at the 6th CIIE is “Singapore-China: Advancing Future-Oriented Partnership” (新中致远,共创前瞻未来), which reflects the new phase in the bilateral relationship between Singapore and China. Occupying a total exhibition area of close to 1,286 square metres this year, the Singapore Pavilion, which spans across the Consumer Goods Hall, Food & Agricultural Products Hall and Trade in Services Hall will see Singapore companies showcasing a wider range of innovative, high-quality, and reliable products and services. The design of the Singapore Pavilion will showcase Singapore as a dynamic and competitive capital of technological innovation and sustainable development.

CEO of SBF Mr Kok Ping Soon said, “Singapore businesses are buoyed by the upgraded bilateral relationship between China and Singapore and are looking forward to more significant trade and investment opportunities. The last decade has seen China firmly establish itself as Singapore’s largest trading partner, while Singapore has become China’s largest source of foreign investment. Our mutually beneficial relationship has allowed significant business and trade opportunities to flourish. CIIE remains an essential platform for Singapore businesses to grow their business in the Chinese market particularly in high-growth areas such as digital innovation and sustainability. By forging impactful partnerships, we can ensure the continued success of business relations between our two countries.”

This year’s Expo comes at a time when business appetite for overseas expansion is growing among Singapore businesses. According to SBF's National Business Survey 2022/2023, 42% of companies felt that overseas expansion plans were very important, up from 32% the previous year. 46% of Singapore companies surveyed already have a presence in China. Among companies that plan to expand overseas, 21% are keen to venture into China.

The 6th CIIE will also see the sustained partnership between SBF and the Bank of China (BOC) Singapore Branch, which has been SBF’s financial services partner at CIIE since 2018. BOC has been instrumental in driving business success for Singapore companies at CIIE by facilitating online and offline business matching through their BOC E-cooperation system (中银e企赢). The business matching sessions include onsite business pitching and virtual business matching, providing opportunities for Singapore companies to expand and deepen their footprint in China.

General Manager and Country Head of BOC Singapore, Mr Cheng Jun said, “For six consecutive years, BOC Singapore Branch has been working with SBF, providing tailor-made financial solutions for exhibitors from Singapore. Our matching services have accurately connected the exhibiters with the corresponding partners, serving local enterprise to better enter the Chinese market. The scale of the exhibition has been growing, and this year marks the 10th year of BRI and together with the RCEP in place, there will only be more business opportunities awaiting.”

SBF will also hold the Singapore-China Trade and Investment Forum (SCTIF) on the sidelines of the 6th CIIE on 6 November 2023. The forum, which will be held in Shanghai, is a high-level bilateral business platform to foster dialogue and greater collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies. There will also be sessions for business pitching and business matching, specifically designed for business leaders, government officials, and policymakers.

Monday, 23 October 2023