11 February 2018
Authorities in one of China’s poorest regions are hoping that a multibillion-yuan bet on a huge block of land by a Singaporean shipping company can be the catalyst for an ambitious trade project that has languished for a decade.
The goal is to turn the 3 sq km barren block in Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, into a “world-class” logistics hub to forge stronger trade links between southwestern China and Southeast Asia.
Li Mingjiang, a specialist in Sino-Southeast Asian ties from Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the Singaporean investment was a catalyst.
“The government’s plan on the development of Guangxi never really met their expectations … until Singapore decided to step in,” Li, who has been a close observer of the region for the past decade, said.
“Throughout the government’s promotion of Guangxi’s potential, Asean did give it some attention but were not particularly enthusiastic, and no official ties were formed … Singapore’s participation has given the development a very big push, especially in terms of shipping as a leading trade port in the region.”
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 12/02/2018