Singapore - A portal dedicated to the China-initiated 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) strategy was officially launched today.
Jointly developed by Lianhe Zaobao (LHZB), the Chinese flagship newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), the 'Belt and Road' portal is Southeast Asia's first comprehensive website which focuses on OBOR, a collective term for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives launched by China.
The portal (http://www.zaobao.com.sg/beltandroad) aims to promote a deeper understanding of OBOR among Singapore enterprises and offer Chinese readers around the world a Singaporean and Southeast Asian perspective on OBOR initiative, said a press statement from Singapore Press Holdings.
The portal was unveiled this evening by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress at SPH News Centre Auditorium. He was joined by Mr Chen Xiao Dong, Ambassador of People's Republic of China to Singapore; Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of SPH; Mr Teo Siong Seng, Chairman of SBF; Mr Anthony Tan, Executive Vice-President of SPH's Chinese Media Group and Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer of SBF.
In his visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping had announced the country's joint development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives. OBOR has now become China's top national-level economic strategy.
The portal will present an overview of OBOR, the latest developments of the initiative, news, business opportunities, analyses, commentaries and a calendar of activities that are happening in the OBOR regions.
LHZB will introduce and promote the website on Weibo, WeChat, Facebook and other social media platforms to reach a diverse mix of audiences.
Mr Chan Chun Sing said: "OBOR is a mutually beneficial initiative that encourages integration and infrastructural co-operation between countries in the region. As an important part of OBOR, the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) will leverage Singapore's strengths and align with China's reforms and national strategies."
"Unlike our other Government-to-Government projects with China, we have a broader definition of success for this project. We are looking at developing enablers to increase the ease of doing business and lower operating costs, such as logistics and financing costs. This will unlock Chongqing's potential to develop into a multi-modal transportation hub to connect China to the rest of the world," he added.
Mr Anthony Tan, Executive Vice-President of SPH's Chinese Media Group, said: "LHZB has strong influence among Chinese readers around the world, particularly in China and Southeast Asia. The OBOR portal, leveraging zaobao.com, will offer readers a Singaporean and Southeast Asian perspective, enable them to better understand the OBOR initiative, as well as its connections with the region and the world. This will strengthen LHZB's position as an authoritative news provider and voice among Chinese readers in the world."
Mr Teo Siong Seng, SBF Chairman, encouraged companies to visit the portal often to "share their experiences, generate business opportunities, expand their network and establish more partnerships with Chinese enterprises".
"As Singapore's apex business chamber, SBF remains committed to playing a pivotal role in facilitating business exchanges between Singapore and other countries, including China. Helping companies gain better insights into new and emerging business opportunities in China will continue to be one key area," he said.
So far, the OBOR portal has received the support from companies such as Bank of China, China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd, CrimsonLogic Pte Ltd, ICBC Singapore Branch, Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd, PSA Corporation Ltd, SingPost Limited, StarHub Ltd, Straco Corporation Ltd, Tat Hong Holdings Ltd, United Overseas Bank Limited and Yanlord Land Group Limited.