On November 7, 2015, the third China-Singapore inter-governmental cooperation project, the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Strategic  Demonstration Initiative Project (Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI)), “settled in” Chongqing.  The four areas of strategic connection are financial services, aviation industry, transportation and logistics, and information and communications.  Unlike past government-to-government cooperation projects which are Tianjin Eco City and Suzhou Industrial Park, these third project has no physical entities, but just strategic connectivity.

As at Q2 2018, there are a total of 116 key projects implemented with the value of approximately US$20.8 billion in Chongqing.

As a major inland trade hub in the Belt and Road Initiative, Chongqing has a unique geographical advantage. To the west, the Chongqing-Europe railway (YuXinOu) reaches China’s northwest, Central Asia, and Europe; towards east, it connects Shanghai to the sea via the “Golden Waterway” of the Yangtze River. To the south, more than 250 routes converge at the Singapore Port on the southeast side of the Strait of Malacca.

Under Chongqing Connectivity Initiative,the “Southbound Passage (南向通道),” is created, complimented by the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. All three logistics infrastructure completed a perfect trade route.

The major landmark strategic connectivities that have taken place include the Southbound Passage, which is a multi modal logistics route connecting Singapore to the international shipping network.  The route starts from Chongqing to Qinzhou Port in Guangxi, connects to sea route to reach the ASEAN ports, and then connects to the bigger international shipping network.  The busier logistics networks are complimented by a multimodal intelligent system which is able to trace cargo in 5 minutes, and solve the problems of pallet configuration that has plagued the enterprise for many years

Chan Chun Sing, Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore, interprets the goal of the Southbound Passage as ‘one channel that connects China and Singapore, one rail and sea intermodal network that reaches every part of the world’.

Today, both China and Singapore sides have established diversified cross-border investment and financing channels, accumulatively completed 60 types of cross-border credit financing projects with financing amount of US$5.06 billion, and reduce financing costs by 1.15 percentage points. The cross-border financing for the provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Shaanxi and other provinces amounted to 2.23 billion U.S. dollars, and the successful implementation of the China-Singapore cross-border financing model radiated to neighbouring provinces.

Through cooperation with Singapore companies, Chongqing companies are also advancing in innovation. A few years ago, Ding Yan’s Chongqing Pucheng Logistics Co., Ltd. had to implement rapid consolidation through manual inquiries and telephone calls. The Singapore Huilian Group’s multimodal intelligent system requires only the input of container, departure port, and destination information, and cargo information can be found within 5 minutes. Seeing this, Ding Yan immediately agreed to the requirement of “51% stake in the company.” Last May, the two companies jointly set up a new company – Chongqing Huilian Pucheng International Logistics Co., Ltd.

Ding Yan benefited from the sophisticated management brought by innovation: from the numerous departments and the complex management level, to the development of individual assessment and profit indicators according to the branch company model; from focusing on the cost of employing personnel to the use of a comprehensive compensation system. “The staff has increased by 1/3, but the efficiency has more than doubled.” Ding Yan said: “Even the design of the warehouse has been optimized and innovative, and the warehouse has become a double storey. The increase in cost per square meter is less than 1,000 yuan, but the area of usage has increased by twofold.”

Many small and medium-sized enterprises are not able to form a full case of transportation due to the small volume of goods. The Chongqing Connectivity Initiative has brought business opportunities for Chinese and Singaporean companies collaborations. Fuxin Europe (Chongqing) Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. and Singapore Huantong Logistics Group jointly established Zhongxin Huantong (Chongqing) Multimodal Transport Co., Ltd. in February last year to provide public LCL services. Mixed pallet price is similar in shipping, but it also saves time,” said Wang Huoquan, deputy general manager of the company.

As the “Southbound Passage” continues to expand through multiplying effects, the economic values for it’s surrounding areas are enhanced. As an operation center, Chongqing will cooperate with Guangxi, Guizhou, Gansu, and Qinghai to conduct regional cooperation and jointly discuss the establishment and sharing of the “Southbound Passage”. In April of this year, the “Southbound Passage” Chinese joint meeting has invited Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces to participate.

Since the beginning of Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, WiseNet Asia (Chongqing) Co., Ltd. has successfully help to established both China and Singapore companies moving both ways, including China companies moving into South East Asia countries.  Business matching and recruitment requires the similar skills, systems and market intelligence.  Once a business has started, it needs human capital to stabilize at earlier stage and accelerate growth at later stage.  This is why business matching and recruitment or headhunting goes hand-in-hand.

Video about Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (Chinese)

Video credits:  Ren Ming Re Bao China

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