The 12th meeting of the Singapore-Guangdong Collaboration Council was held on October 20. Representatives from the political and business sectors of the two countries shared the latest bilateral cooperation progress and outlook on Singapore-Greater Bay Area cooperation, exploring new opportunities in different industries in the post-COVID-19 era.
In a recent interview with GDToday, Wang Lizong, President of Guangdong High-Tech Industry Chamber of Commerce, said that China has been ASEAN's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. In 2020, ASEAN became the top trading partner to China and also Guangdong. "This proves the strong complementarity between China and ASEAN."
China and ASEAN enjoy great complementarity in trade
According to Wang Lizong, China's exports to ASEAN mainly focus on medium and high-tech products, covering machinery and electronics, intelligent terminal equipment, mobiles, as well as home furnishings, clothing and watches. ASEAN’s imports to Guangdong tend to resource-based products such as oil, minerals and metals.
"As for investment, our member enterprises have lots of investment projects in ASEAN. In Vietnam, for example, they are developing new energy industry to produce lithium batteries and lead-acid batteries. Vietnam has a complete electronic information industrial chain, which draws investment from the electronic information manufacturing industry."
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s hit to global trade and the China-US trade friction, China's science & technology manufacturing industry has still managed to grow this year. According to the General Administration of Customs, in the first half of 2021, China's total imports and exports was 18.07 trillion RMB, with an increase of 22.8 percent from the pre-epidemic level in 2019.
Guangdong High-Tech Industry Chamber of Commerce, as the first of its kind in China, gathers more than 6,000 high-tech enterprises. Wang said, the pandemic and trade friction did cause a great impact to the global economy as well as to industries including integrated circuits and chips, among which some are high-end manufacturing companies."
“However, despite the impact of tariff barriers, orders are increasing this year and exports are surging, and ASEAN is a crucial platform contributing to the growth,” He said, adding “Affected by the pandemic, many people stay home. As a result, their demands for technology products such as TVs and mobiles have risen.”
Both domestic circulation and international circulation are focused
In 2020, China proposed the "dual circulation" strategy, an economic development pattern that takes domestic development as the mainstay, with domestic and international development boosting each other.
In Wang’s opinion, China pays great attention to both domestic circulation and international circulation, with multiple strategies used to boost the latter. "As we can see from China's Belt and Road Initiative, the promotion of China-ASEAN cooperation, and the integration into the RCEP "circle of friends", China has made great efforts to promote international circulation."
He holds confidence in the future of cooperation between Guangdong and ASEAN. Based on the large population of overseas Chinese in ASEAN, the two sides are very close in economic and trade exchanges. "In 2010, we organized 100 entrepreneurs to travel through five ASEAN countries. They were warmly welcomed by the local governments and the overseas Chinese there. "Such kind of people-to-people exchanges have pushed more member enterprises to develop in ASEAN."
Author | Hannah, Huang Yanting (intern)
Editor | Wing, Jasmine, Jerry
Poster | Mia