1. Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentlemen, good morning. I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this year’s CCI-ILSTC International Cooperation Forum.
2. Global turbulences in recent years have exposed the complexities and vulnerabilities of global supply chains. This has accelerated long-term supply chain shifts, with businesses now pursuing a “just in case” over a “just in time” operations model. As a multi-modal and multi-faceted economic link, the CCI-New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, or CCI-ILSTC, can strengthen supply chain resilience by connecting regions, providing network reliability, and promoting trade digitalisation as well as transparency.
3. Connectivity is at the heart of supply chain resilience. The CCI-ILSTC connects Southeast Asia, with its young and dynamic economies, to Western China, the fastest growing region in China. By connecting land and sea routes efficiently, the CCI-ILSTC reduces the time required for transporting goods between our regions. The development of supporting infrastructure, such as the newly launched China-Singapore (Chongqing) Multi-Modal Distribution and Connectivity Centre, will further integrate Chongqing’s major road, rail, and river logistics nodes, enhancing connectivity and the seamless flow of goods between regions.
4. The reliability of logistics networks has always been important to businesses, particularly in times of crisis. Throughout the pandemic, land and sea ports along the CCI-ILSTC stayed open to allow the uninterrupted flow of food and critical supplies. This has allowed the CCI-ILSTC to establish itself as a viable alternative to traditional trade routes. As countries restructure their supply chains and reassess their trade networks, Singapore will work closely with Chongqing and other partners to facilitate the flow of essential goods such as food and other perishables. Together, we also want to build greater mindshare amongst logistics players and enhance their cold chain handling capabilities.
5. Transparency is another crucial aspect of supply chain resilience. By leveraging digital tools to enhance end-to-end visibility, the CCI-ILSTC can allow businesses to spot and deal with bottlenecks proactively. PSA and the Chongqing Port and Logistics Office have started working on validating data exchanges for shipments between Singapore and Chongqing. If successful, this initiative will enable shippers and cargo owners to track their shipments more efficiently and be more agile in managing their supply chains.
6. Singapore and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding last month to enhance cooperation in the digital economy. Building on this MOU, we can pilot new initiatives along the CCI-ILSTC, including using emerging technologies to exchange trade-related data and documents in a safe and secure environment. We are piloting the exchange of electronic bills of lading, using TradeTrust, a digital utility that enables interoperability across various platforms. If successful, the pilot will catalyse trade digitalisation as trade documents get exchanged securely and seamlessly across borders and digital platforms.
7. Amidst global uncertainties, the CCI-ILSTC remains steadfast in its mission of connecting like-minded partners, leveraging comparative strengths, and ensuring win-win outcomes. I look forward to the continued expansion of the CCI-ILSTC network, and encourage more stakeholders to come onboard the trade corridor. I wish today’s forum every success. Thank you.