SINGAPORE: The Republic's third largest lender, United Overseas Bank (UOB), opened a new branch in Suzhou on Thursday (Nov 5) to tap opportunities arising from China's recent liberalisation of offshore financing rules.
UOB, through its Suzhou branch, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Suzhou (CCPIT Suzhou) to help Jiangsu-based companies capture the business opportunities in Southeast Asia.
Singapore is at the heart of intra-regional trade and investment flows between China and Southeast Asia.
In particular, Singapore accounted for 85 per cent of the total foreign direct investments into China from countries along the Land and Maritime Silk Roads, said Mr Ian Wong, head of UOB’s Group Strategy and International Management in a statement.
China and Singapore announced on Oct 13 a set of new initiatives to further promote the international use of the renminbi (RMB) through Singapore.
The steps include extending the existing cross-border RMB financing initiatives between Singapore and the Suzhou Industrial Park to the city of Suzhou. This means banks in Singapore will be able to lend RMB to corporates in Suzhou, while corporates in Suzhou will be able to issue RMB bonds in Singapore.
Similar incentives were extended to corporates in the Chinese city of Tianjin.
China has been promoting trade and investment among countries lining the old silk roads as part of its One Belt One Road initiative.