15 Sep 2020

Launch of FutureChina Global Forum (FCGF) 2020 (Special Virtual Edition)

The FutureChina Global Forum (FCGF) 2020 (Special Virtual Edition), themed “A Resilient Future: Post-Pandemic Transformation & Opportunities in China and ASEAN”, commenced today virtually.

Chairman of Business China, Mr Lee Yi Shyan said in his Welcome Address, “The outbreak of Covid-19 has driven the global economic activity to a near standstill.  We are heading into the deepest global recession in decades. While adjusting and mitigating the adverse impacts of Covid-19, we need to focus on “transformation” and the “opportunities” a post-pandemic era may bring. I hope that through the sharing of our esteemed speakers, participants to the forum will be able to gain new insights to the latest developments in China and ASEAN, and formulate new strategy for the new normal”.

Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance also delivered a keynote speech to kickstart the Forum, and Dr Tan See Leng, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Manpower and Trade and Industry was Special Guest.

During the main Panel Discussion titled “Capitalising New World Order and Regionalism amidst more dynamic global relations” - Dr Tan See Leng, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Manpower and Trade and Industry, said “It is more useful to think about how we can live with Covid-19, instead of focusing on a post-pandemic world.” Even as the world becomes more fragmented, Singapore remains well positioned to weather the Covid storm.

Singapore, said Dr Tan, has dealt with the pandemic in a focused and disciplined manner, allowing it to focus on saving livelihoods. Other speakers on the panel, such as H.E. Dith Tina, Secretary of State, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Cambodia; Dr Randall S. Kroszner, Former Governor, Federal Reserve System, Deputy Dean, Executive Programs and Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Hon. Steven Ciobo, Former Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia; and Mr Michael Ding, Global Executive Director, Envision Group also reiterated the importance of operating within a rules-based international order, which includes upholding and advancing global trade.

 During the Thematic Roundtable Discussion titled “Entering a new era of China-Asean partnership with capital flow” – Panellists, comprising Mr Tommy Xie, Head of Greater China Research, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation; Dr Jeffrey Chi, Founding Member &

Vice Chairman, Vickers Venture Partners, Former Chairman & Ambassador, Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association; Dr Ernest Kan, Chief Advisor (Capital Markets China), Singapore Exchange; Mr Gary Yang, Founding Partner, SkySaga Capital; and Mr Lennard Yong, Group CEO, Tricor Group, mentioned that amid rising US-China tensions, we can expect a large capital flow rushing into the ASEAN market. With China as the region’s largest trading partner, in-depth understanding of geopolitical issues is critical in navigating the changing global business landscapes as the economic focus shifts to the east. Several other exciting developments to look out for include a growing start-up culture, and more technology-enabled opportunities in ASEAN countries.

In another parallel Thematic Roundtable Discussion titled “Redefining BRI financing -- From Infrastructure to New Infrastructure Financing” - According to panellists comprising Mr Liu Zeng, Deputy General Manager, China Construction Bank, Singapore Branch; Mr Omar Shahzad, Group Chief Executive Officer, Meinhardt Group; Mr Pang Yee Ean, Chief Executive Officer, Surbana Jurong Capital; Mr Gregory Liu, Manager, Investment Operations Region 2 East & Central Asia EMEA & Non-regional Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); and Mr Liu Shijian, Assistant Director Center for Public-Private Partnership, Tsinghua University, the Covid-19 pandemic and growing anti-globalisation sentiment is changing the face of China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects and how they are being financed, during a discussion about BRI financing. Investors are paying closer attention to the quality of projects but interest remains strong for sustainable and bankable projects. Likewise, the panellists also expect Chinese investments into South-east Asia to stay robust given its complementary role in the region, which continues to generate growth opportunities.

For the Youth Forum Discussion titled “The future of work for young working professionals in Asean and China post Covid-19” - Ms Wang Hongliu, Director of General Office at the ASEAN-China Center at Beijing shared, “The young people of China and ASEAN play an important role in fighting Covid-19, as they are the new driving force for cooperation between the countries under the new normal”. This was her advice to young professionals in this time of uncertainty: Learn fast, adapt fast; think big and be bold. Mr Brian Liu, Board Member, National Youth Council (NYC) Singapore; Senior Vice President (People) -  Organization, Talent & Development, Lazada Group was also the speaker for the opening address. Ms Wang spoke at the Youth Forum, where other panellists, Mr Chan Yong, Ms Alina Chua, Mr Yu Zhou and Mr Li Bolun agreed that now is the time to form bridges across borders, to work together to combat the pandemic and create new opportunities.