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Speech by Minister Josephine Teo at CCI-ILSTC Regional Cooperation Forum Singapore

Speech by Minister Josephine Teo at CCI-ILSTC Regional Cooperation Forum Singapore

尊敬的袁家军书记,

尊敬的孙海燕大使

尊敬的高泉庆,

女士们,先生们,朋友们,

大家早上好,

  1. 我很高兴受邀参加今天的国际陆海贸易新通道区域合作论坛,与来自重庆,东南亚和本地的老朋友进行面对面交流。

     

  2. 在此,我想代表新加坡政府热烈的欢迎袁书记及所有重庆朋友来到新加坡 。希望袁书记这次出访除了办工事也会有时间欣赏我国的美景及文化!

     

  3. 新加坡和中国拥有长期、稳固的伙伴关系。多年来,我们在民间、企业间和政府间各个层面都保持着密切的交流与合作。

     

  4. 今年三月,李显龙总理到访中国进行国事访问。李总理和习近平主席宣布将两国关系升级为全方位高质量的前瞻性伙伴关系,为中新合作提供了新的契机。接下来,请容我用英语继续发言。

     

    Southeast Asia’s Economic Potential

     

  5. Today, I would like to talk about the role of CCI-ILSTC in realising the potential of our region.

     

  6. Southeast Asia, home to over 680 million people, comprises a growing middle class that is both young and digitally-savvy.

     

  7. By 2030, 65 percent of the region’s population is expected to join the middle class, with 60 percent under the age of 35. Southeast Asia’s combined GDP of over three trillion US dollars also places it as the world’s fifth largest economy today.

     

  8. Global shifts towards digitalisation and sustainability have opened up new avenues of growth for the region.

     

  9. Driven by the addition of 100,000 new Internet users every single day, Southeast Asia’s digital economy is on track to exceed 360 billion US dollars in gross merchandise value by end-2025.

     

  10. Rich in untapped renewable energy resources, the region’s green economy could also provide up to one trillion US dollars in annual economic opportunities by 2030.

     

    Western China’s Economic Potential

     

  11. Western China, with its expansive territory and rich resources, has become an important engine of China’s economic growth.

     

  12. As the gap between Western and coastal provinces continues to narrow, the elevation of the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle as a national-level developmental strategy underscores the importance of Western China to China’s overall development.

     

  13. Today, we see growing commercial interest in Western China, not just from Southeast Asia but also the Middle East and Europe. Foreign investments into Western China increased 14.1 percent year-on-year in 2022, more than twice the growth rate for the whole of China.

     

     

     

    Regional Integration between Southeast Asia and Western China

     

  14. Southeast Asia and Western China are already close partners with strong complementary economic fundamentals.

     

  15. Trade and investment ties have been further strengthened by agreements between ASEAN and China such as the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, or ACFTA, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP for short.

     

  16. Since the RCEP’s entry into force last year, we have seen a 15 percent year-on-year increase in trade between ASEAN and China, which are now each other’s largest trading partner. Negotiations are now underway to upgrade the ACFTA.

     

  17. Taken together, these efforts will enhance the regions’ economic infrastructure and create new opportunities for our businesses and workers.

     

    CCI-ILSTC’s Role in Promoting Regional Integration

     

  18. In this context, the CCI-ILSTC assumes an important role in enabling Southeast Asia and Western China to leverage each other’s strengths.

     

  19. By bringing together land and maritime routes, the CCI-ILSTC provides a more direct connection between Southeast Asia and Western China, resulting in time and cost savings for traders and consumers.

     

  20. Improved connectivity and access to new markets makes both regions more attractive investment destinations, not only to each other but also to global investors.

     

  21. Since its establishment, the CCI-ILSTC has seen sustained growth in trade flows in both directions, testifying to the Corridor’s growing attractiveness.

     

  22. As an alternative route to transport goods between Southeast Asia and Western China, the CCI-ILSTC also contributes to the resilience of regional supply chains.

     

  23. In line with Singapore’s and Chongqing’s emphasis on sustainability and digitalisation as newer areas of growth and collaboration, both sides are looking forward to pilot green and digital initiatives, especially along the CCI-ILSTC.

     

  24. These initiatives will further enhance the Corridor’s value proposition, differentiating it from other traditional trade routes.

     

  25. The CCI-ILSTC is an open and inclusive platform that thrives when there are more partners to build volume and economies of scale.

     

  26. I strongly encourage more engagement, such as today’s forum, to attract more potential partners who can participate in the further development of the Corridor.

     

    Conclusion

     

  27. In conclusion, as the link between two of the most economically dynamic regions in the world, I am confident that the CCI-ILSTC will not only continue to unlock our economic potential and benefit our people, but also serve as an important testament to our commitment to economic integration and openness.

     

  28. 我谨祝国际陆海贸易新通道区域合作论坛取得丰硕的成果、圆满成功。谢谢大家。
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