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Singapore, Beijing sign pact to promote trade, investment.

SINGAPORE, June 22 Kyodo

Singapore and Beijing sealed an agreement Thursday to promote bilateral trade and investment that is expected to give Singapore companies a head-start in clinching services projects ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau signed the memorandum of understanding in Beijing with its Singaporean counterpart International Enterprise Singapore, marking the first time the Chinese agency has entered into such an agreement with a foreign country.

The three-year deal will focus on helping Singapore export services to China, the Singapore agency said in a statement.

The main areas are infrastructure, healthcare, environment, transport and logistics, financial, including the listing of Beijing enterprises on the Singapore Exchange, and info-communications technology such as online commerce and online government services.

The Chinese agency will organize a mission to Singapore early next month to help companies identify investment opportunities in Beijing.

Singapore is eyeing business opportunities in China in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. Also, the demand for services is growing with the mushrooming of new urban centers under the Chinese government's 11th five-year plan from 2006 to 2010.

The deal will also provide a platform for Chinese companies that hope to access international markets via Singapore companies, which already enjoy a good international reputation.

The two sides will set up a working group of officials from both sides to implement the initiatives set out in the memorandum.

More high-level visits, networking sessions, international seminars, and business missions are in the pipeline.

Last year, Singapore was Beijing's 14th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $27 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2004.

Singapore was also Beijing's eighth largest foreign investor last year, with cumulative investments amounting to $1.6 billion.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Jun 26, 2006
Words:287
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