Opportunities on the Silk Road

Local SMEs keen on growing their regional business can tap on new initiatives that aim to promote connectivity in the region

The China-led Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has opened up opportunities for Singapore companies in infrastructure and other sectors. Chinese capital flowing into BRI projects rose to a record $20.1 billion in 2017, up 30% over the previous year. This investment has mostly flowed into infrastructure developments such as roads and ports.

Issues surrounding the BRI, as well as regional connectivity and ASEAN, were explored at the FutureChina Global Forum and the Singapore Regional Business Forum held on 28 August 2018. The special joint forum was organised by Business China and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

If you’re an SME seeking out opportunities in BRI or the region in general, here are some useful platforms and initiatives highlighted at the Forum you should know about.


BRI Connect is an online and offline platform established by SBF and China Enterprises Association to connect relevant parties and facilitate the implementation of BRI projects in Singapore, China and countries along the Belt and Road. The 21 founding member companies were unveiled at the Forum, and come from a broad spectrum of sectors representing banking and finance, infrastructure project management, legal and mediation, facility management and risk management, as well as communications, among others.

Visit SBF to find out more

SBF Infrastructure Committee

The private-sector grouping aims to build an infrastructure ecosystem to help Singapore companies seize regional opportunities. Serving as Founding Chairman is Mr Pek Lian Guan, Vice Chairman of SBF and Executive Director and CEO of Tiong Seng Holdings, who will be joined by 14 key stakeholders from infrastructure sectors in Singapore.

Visit SBF to find out more

FutureChina Regional Executive Programme

BusinessChina has launched a programme that seeks to add value to Singapore businesses by offering opportunities along the Belt and Road, such as partnering Chinese companies to venture into ASEAN and offering trusted third-party professional services. Specifically, the initiative will bring together stakeholders from Singapore, China and ASEAN to network and share information and opportunities, as well as develop the human capital of stakeholders needed to pursue BRI opportunities. The programme partners with Infrastructure Asia, National University of Singapore’s SCALE, Human Capital Singapore, YCH Group, SCALA, and Rajah & Tann.

Visit BusinessChina to find out more

Singapore-China Open Innovation Platform

This platform aims to promote collaboration in the areas of technology and innovation among organisations in Singapore, ASEAN and various key Chinese cities. The initiative’s founding members from Singapore – such as AIRmaker, Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Business China, NTUitive – and their Chinese partners, will pool their networks and resources to support local startups.