Chongqing- The China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI) marks its 7th anniversary on November 7, which becomes a vital link to deepen bilateral relations.
“The CCI has been hailed as a model of the Belt and Road cooperation and a new business card for international cooperation,” said Zeng Jinghua, director of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity Administrative Bureau (CCIB).
Over the past seven years, the CCI has expanded its cooperation areas to green development, technological innovation, agricultural cooperation, talent exchanges, and others, playing a significant role in an open platform.
As of September 2022, the CCI has landed 218 government and commercial cooperation projects with 25.26 billion US dollars and 235 financial projects with 29.04 billion US dollars.
Taking the financial sector as an example, the cross-border financing between China and Singapore has exceeded 18 billion US dollars, and the cross-border settlement between Chongqing and Singapore has accumulated nearly 60 billion US dollars. Singaporean enterprises have set up more than 20 financial institutions in Chongqing.
The CCI seizes the trend of the digital renminbi (also known as the e-CNY), a digital form of cash equivalent to physical RMB, to reach cooperation. In September, a group of foreign residents in Chongqing from Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries were invited to open the digital RMB wallets at the launching ceremony of the e-CNY pilot project of the CCI.
Chongqing is one of the third batches of cities in the national digital RMB pilot project, while the CCI is one of the six featured application scenarios in the pilot. The ceremony witnessed eleven e-CNY pilot application projects being signed.
The expansion of the e-CNY pilot project to the CCI is of great significance for deepening China-Singapore financial cooperation. So far, China-Singapore financial cooperation has covered ten western provinces and regions, expanding to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.
Besides, different Singaporean enterprises have participated in financial services, such as the Chongqing Pilots Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership (QDLP) and the Chongqing Digital RMB pilot project, which have effectively promoted the construction of the western financial center and the opening-up and development of the western finance.
In late October, an ILSTC train carrying more than 3,400 tons of metallurgical coke departed from Zhongwei, Ningxia, and arrived at Changshou, Chongqing, after three days of transportation.
This batch of coke will meet the smelting needs of local non-ferrous metal enterprises in Chongqing. The refined ferroalloys will be sold to the domestic market and over 30 countries in Europe, the United States, and Asia.
With the increase in the trains’ frequency, the supporting facilities of the ILSTC are constantly being improved. In the Chongqing Waterless Port, the Laos-China Import and Export Commodity Distribution Center is under construction. More Lao specialties such as rice, bananas, and stone will come to Chongqing by the ILSTC and be distributed here.
According to the 2022 CCI joint progress report, from January to September, 1,795 rail-sea intermodal trains and 2,055 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cross-border trains were operated under the CCI-ILSTC. So far, the ILSTC has covered 113 countries and 335 ports, supporting the regional supply chain and industrial chain.
On November 7, the New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd. and Singapore cross-border trade service company CrimsonLogic signed a letter of intent on cooperation at the fifth China International Import Expo.
Both sides will cooperate in intelligent logistics and trade facilitation to jointly build the global cross-border trade digital service network, making the ILSTC a convenient, efficient, and intelligent corridor for trade exchanges.
“In the next step, we will take the mission of building the international public product and cooperation platform of the Belt and Road, to open a new phase of CCI’s development,” said Zeng Jinghua, Director of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity Administrative Bureau (CCIB).
Specifically, the CCI will continue to deepen cooperation and the ILSTC’s development while contributing to institutional innovation, regional exchange and collaboration, and others.
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