17 Jul 2020

Business China CEO speaks on Singapore’s Role in the Belt and Road Initiative post-COVID-19

Business China CEO Ms Tin Pei Ling was invited as the guest speaker for the first session of the NCPA Webinar Series held on 16 July 2020. The theme of the session was “Globalisation vs De-globalisation: The Belt and Road Initiative in post COVID-19 ASEAN”.

The webinar was co-organised by Nanyang Centre for Public Administration and Lianhe Zaobao. Other speakers in the webinar were Dr Ma Rongbao, President of CICC Techgin Investment (CTI) Fund, China International Capital Corporation (CICC) Limited, Ms. Kulthirath Pakawachkrilers, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Thailand e-business Centre (TEC) and Dr Zhang Monan, Senior Fellow.

During the presentation titled “The Road Forward Post COVID-19: Singapore’s Role in the Belt and Road Initiative”, Ms Tin shed light on the impacts of COVID-19 to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which include global supply chain disruptions, delays and budget reductions in BRI projects as well as restrictions on human mobility and trade.

She talked about how Singapore had been a strong supporter of BRI since the early stages where there were four areas that Singapore could play a role in, namely infrastructure connectivity, financial connectivity, third party collaboration and professional and legal services. COVID-19 might have impacted the progress of BRI, but it has also opened up new areas of collaboration between Singapore and China along the Belt and Road countries. Ms Tin further elaborated on a few areas which Singapore can work together with China for BRI such as healthcare and vaccinations, food security and regional processing as well as the Digital Silk Road. In conclusion, she expressed optimism on the relevance of Singapore in the BRI post-COVID-19 and highlighted the importance of partnerships with other countries to build long term resilience in the changing world.

Ms Tin also participated in the panel discussion with the other three speakers, where questions raised by the audience include the effect of escalating US-China relations on ASEAN and BRI, ways for Singapore to prepare for such situations as well impact on the BRI dynamics due to the shift in resources domestically by China.