Business China CEO Ms Tin Pei Ling conducted a dialogue with the Belt and Road (BRI) EMBA class of the Tsinghua PBC School of Finance on 8 November 2019 to talk about Singapore’s role in the Belt and Road (BRI) Initiative as well as how Business China plays a complementary role by serving as a cultural and economic bridge linking China and the ASEAN region.
Ms Tin highlighted four areas where Singapore can play a part in the BRI Initiative –
1) Infrastructure connectivity
2) Financial connectivity
3) Third party market collaboration
4) Professional and legal services
Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, emphasised on Singapore’s industrial strengths and Enterprise Singapore’s role in helping Singapore companies venture abroad.
Key factors highlighting Singapore’s competitiveness:
1) Singapore is geographically well positioned
2) The quality of the Singapore workforce
3) The quality of the Singapore government
He also shared how the pro-business environment benefits companies setting up headquarters in Singapore to launch their businesses to Asia through Singapore.
The Q&A session saw many participants raising pertinent questions to CEO and Mr Tan. One question was on whether Singapore doing knowledge transferring to ASEAN is actually beneficial to Singapore.
Both CEO and Mr Tan replied that business is not a zero-sum game; Singapore and the region could work together to “make the pie bigger” and value add to the region.
Another EMBA candidate raised a question on how ASEAN can develop into an economic union like EU.
Both speakers recognised that ASEAN is fragmented and there are different regulations in different countries. There should be continued integration of the ASEAN community and building of the ASEAN smart cities. Looking forward, ASEAN will be the fourth largest economy in the world in the next five to 10 years. The challenge ASEAN is facing is consensus; if one party disagrees, it is a no go.
The event saw about 70 attendees including students and alumnus of the EMBA course from countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.
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