Thursday, 17 April 2014

S'pore companies urged to invest in Shandong

Singapore's Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has urged Singapore companies to invest in the Chinese province of Shandong

QINGDAO, China: Singapore's Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has urged Singapore companies to invest in the Chinese province of Shandong.

Mr Goh is on an official visit to the cities of Jinan and Qingdao, marking his first visit to Shandong province in 21 years.

Total investments between Singapore and Shandong jumped 60 per cent last year from 2012 to touch the US$1 billion mark.


Emeritus Senior Minister, Goh Chok Tong, said that he would like to see more Singapore companies investing in Shandong.

He was visiting the cities of Jinan and Qingdao and speaking with Chinese officials about how Singapore and Shandong could continue to build good relations on Friday.

ESM Goh met with Shandong Party Secretary Jiang Yikang and Governor Guo Shuqing to discuss various ways in which Singapore and Shandong could further business ties.

Double bubble trouble
China’s property prices appear to be falling again

CAN bubbles ever pop twice? In late 2009 the world began to worry about a Chinese property bubble, symbolised by Ordos, a newly built city, bereft of citizens, in Inner Mongolia. In the spring of 2010 China’s government broadened its curbs on multiple home purchases and mortgage borrowing. The following spring, prices in nine big cities fell at last, according to one widely watched index. “The Great Property Bubble Of China May Be Popping” declared the Wall Street Journal in June of that year.

This week the same newspaper cited “compelling signs the Chinese property boom is over,” noting that “Cassandras” have been predicting a crash for years. (The Cassandra of Greek myth could tell the future but was never believed. For China’s property Cassandras, things are the other way round: their direst predictions are often believed, but have yet to come true.)

Bubbles often go on longer than expected. This newspaper warned about America’s internet and housing bubbles years before they burst. What is unusual about China’s bubble is not its persistence but its prevarication. It seems to be bursting for a second time. Property prices did peak in 2011, as the Journal noted. But the following year, they started to rise again.

Investments in Suzhou & Tianjin based on gut feelings, no feasibility studies

Yesterday, Mr Goh noted that for the industrial projects in Suzhou and Tianjin, 'on the government-to-government side, we did not do an economic feasibility study'.

'We just felt in our guts that this was something good to do to engage China and that you could make it work,' he said. But Singbridge's present involvement means Guangzhou's 'knowledge city' would be undertaken purely for profit.

'We are commercialising our public sector experience through Singbridge, so we are now able to unlock the value of the civil service for projects like this,' Mr Goh said.