The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region accounts for 3.7% of China’s land area with a population of 220 million and a GDP of RMB 19.5 trillion (approximately a quarter of China’s GDP). To better promote regional cooperation and integration, the Yangtze River Delta Regional Cooperation Office was launched in January 2018. The three provinces and Shanghai will ramp up coordination in terms of industrial planning and leverage each area’s strengths to work towards the creation of a unified market. Plans are underway to enhance infrastructural connectivity within the region to facilitate intermodal transport and trade. With integration of the region deemed a national-level strategy by the government, the area is well on course to become the “Pearl of the Asia-Pacific”.
Shanghai is one of only four municipalities in the country, and is widely regarded as China’s economic centre. It is China’s largest city in terms of GDP, with 2018 figures hitting RMB 3.2 trillion. In 2017, it became the first city to cross the much-vaunted RMB 3 trillion mark. Within Shanghai, the Pudong New Area – China’s first national-level New Area – accounts for a third of the city’s business activities by value.
Shanghai is also home to the largest number of MNC regional headquarters in China, and a population that has the strongest spending power among all the Chinese cities. Notably, Shanghai was selected to host the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE) from 5 – 10 November 2018, and will be hosting the second CIIE in November 2019.
Shanghai was Singapore’s second largest investment destination in China in 2018, while Singapore was Shanghai’s third largest foreign investor after Hong Kong and Germany1. Growing demand for mid to high-end goods and services makes Shanghai a very attractive investment destination for Singapore firms, many of which focus on real estate, financial and insurance services, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade. Testament to the growing linkages between Singapore and Shanghai, the inaugural Singapore-Shanghai Comprehensive Cooperation Council was held in May 2019 to facilitate even closer collaboration across a wide spectrum ranging from innovation to urban solutions.
1 Shanghai Bureau of Statistics
Key Singapore projects in Shanghai include:
Source: Shanghai Bureau of Statistics
Jiangsu is Singapore’s largest investment destination in China. The province has traditionally been an export-oriented economy with strong manufacturing capabilities; electronics, telecommunications, textiles, petrochemicals, metallurgy and machinery account for over 80% of Jiangsu’s GDP. Since 2015, Jiangsu has been diversifying into the services sector in areas such as communications, e-commerce, logistics, financial leasing and smart manufacturing, and is also accelerating its plans to focus on technology and innovation to drive its economy.
Bolstered by the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, the first Singapore-China government-to-government project, and the Sino-Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-tech Island, Singapore has cultivated strong relationships with Jiangsu’s provincial and municipal governments. High-level officials from both Singapore and China conduct frequent visits.
Key Singapore projects in Jiangsu include:
Source: Jiangsu Statistical Bureau
Located on China’s eastern seaboard, Zhejiang is one of China’s most affluent provinces and is widely known as the cradle of China's e-commerce revolution. Home to global e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, Zhejiang houses the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce Pilot Zone, the nation's first comprehensive pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce. Officials in the pilot zone will helm innovative policies to supervise e-commerce transactions, customs clearances and tax refunds. With a robust ecosystem of suppliers, distributors, technology, capital and end-users, Zhejiang’s capital of Hangzhou is an attractive destination for Singapore technology firms.
Beyond e-commerce, Zhejiang also presents numerous opportunities in other areas. The Zhejiang (Zhoushan) Free Trade Zone will spur commodity trade liberalisation, while facilities such as the Ascendas Singapore – Hangzhou Science & Technology Park (SHSTP) provide attractive landing pads for firms looking to develop new technologies. The province is also a magnet for consumer firms as it has a relatively high GDP per capita.
Key Singapore Projects in Zhejiang include:
Source: Zhejiang Bureau of Statistics