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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Singapore businesses eye closer China ties

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

13:39, November 27, 2011

SINGAPORE'S close cultural links with China can help shorten the time and improve the effort needed to engage in each other's business endeavors, senior officials from Singapore said in Shanghai yesterday, hoping the two countries can foster closer business ties to accelerate prosperity in Asia.

"Tapping into our common culture and historical background is something that multi-racial Singapore is well placed to do," Grace Fu, senior minister of state for information, communications, arts, environment and water resources, said at a forum organized by the Shanghai Singapore Business Association - Singapore Club Shanghai.

In the face of a smaller and increasingly interdependent world, Fu suggested Singapore investors can make use of networks and relationships in China to consolidate their business and help newcomers.

"No longer just the factory of the world, companies are realizing the immense potential that the Chinese market holds as a consumer market."

According to the SSBA-SCS, there are more than 2,500 Singapore-invested companies in Shanghai, and roughly 8,000 Singaporeans live in the city.

Bilateral trade between Singapore and China grew to US$95.3 billion in 2010, up from US$75.7 billion a year earlier despite global economic woes.

Leong Wai Leng, chairman of OCBC China, said the core of doing successful business in China is good integration with the local markets.

"We aim at expanding our presence in another 15 Chinese cities in the coming years, and use our strong network in Asia to serve our clients," Leong said.

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