Singapore Qingdao Festival 2019 was launched in a bid to further deepen collaboration between Qingdao and Singapore and promote Qingdao, the key coastal city in eastern China’s Shandong province, as a new platform for international cooperation under the Belt & Road Initiative.

Jointly organised by Qingdao Municipal Government and Enterprise Singapore, over 140 representatives from Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enterprise Singapore, the provincial government of Shandong and key enterprises and business organisations of the two sides took part in the opening ceremony.

During the two-day festival, a number of famed Qingdao enterprises, such as Haier, Hisense, Tsingtao Beer and Qingjian Group, and small- and medium-sized enterprises from Qingdao will showcase their products to Singapore customers.

Xue Qingguo, vice mayor of Qingdao, told the opening ceremony that Qingdao is actively building demonstration zone for local economic and trade cooperation with the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Qingdao part of China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, making Qingdao a pioneer in the opening up of Shandong.

He added that Qingdao welcomes Singaporean entrepreneurs to invest in Qingdao and partner with Qingdao to jointly foster the new platform for international cooperation under the Belt & Road Initiative.

Yew Sung Pei, assistant chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore, said that Qingdao, as the bridgehead for Shandong’s opening-up to the world, is an important business and logistics centre in northeastern Asia.

He said that Qingdao and Singapore are complementary economically, and Qingdao’s economic development will bring great business opportunities to Singapore enterprises. Therefore, Yew called on Singaporean enterprises to make full use of the opportunity of Singapore Qingdao Festival 2019 to strengthen exchanges and interactions with Qingdao enterprises and expand their cooperation space.

Ren Airong, vice governor of Shandong province, Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister for Trade and Industry and Education of Singapore, Zhong Manying, economic and commercial minister-counsellor of the Chinese embassy also participated in the ceremony.

Earlier on the day, the 21st Singapore-Shandong Business Council meeting was held, on which five cooperation agreements were signed.

The Qingdao Municipal Government and Enterprise Singapore sealed a strategic cooperation agreement on further enhancing cooperation in areas such as scientific innovation, medical care, cultural and tourism, financial services and e-commerce.