Organisations also hailed Singapore as amongst the top governments to partner with.

More than half or 57% of organisations in ASEAN and South Asia found Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) opportunities in Singapore, which puts the city state tied at second place with Indonesia in terms opportunities related to China’s massive infrastructure project, according to a survey by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and PwC Singapore.

Emerging as first in the survey was Vietnam with 66% of organisations recognising positive opportunities in the Southeast Asian country, whilst Myanmar and Malaysia tied for fourth place at 50%, followed by Thailand at 48%.

Six in ten (64%) of organisations also hailed Singapore along with Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand as the top governments to partner. In general, three in four respondents saw opportunities to collaborate with ASEAN and South Asia governments.

Respondents admitted that their most preferred third-party government to partner with was China at 86%. Some also expressed interest to partner with Western governments like the US (43%), the UK (36%), and Germany (29%).

Additionally, the most number of respondents were interested in developing smart cities and urban development at 43% in sectors of opportunity, followed by industrial estates and special economic zones at 41%. About two in five or 39% expressed interest in ICT, roads, and ports.

On the other hand, three in four identified political risks to affect BRI projects. Most of them mentioned financial risk (68%) and governance (64%) as well.

The analysis and findings are based on the results of a by invitation only survey conducted in June and July 2019.

Respondents were senior representatives of companies and organisations involved in the regional infrastructure ranging from financial and professional services, oil and gas to manufacturing and construction from across the region.

The survey was published together with the launching of SBF’s Singapore Business Regional Forum.