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UOB and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade renew MOU to facilitate trade and investment in Asean

Bryan Wu
Bryan Wu • 3 min read
UOB and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade renew MOU to facilitate trade and investment in Asean
UOB CEO Wee Ee Cheong (left) and CCPIT chairman Ren Hongbin at the MOU signing ceremony at UOB Plaza on Jan 31. Photo: UOB
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and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) have signed an enhanced memorandum of understanding (MOU) to boost foreign investment and trade between China and Southeast Asia on Jan 31.

UOB and CCPIT first signed an MOU in 2012 and later renewed it in 2014. Since then, the partnership has helped numerous Chinese companies to explore business expansion opportunities in Southeast Asia. The MOU with UOB remains CCPIT’s only collaboration with a bank in Southeast Asia.

At the MOU signing ceremony held this morning at UOB Plaza, more than 100 delegates from major Chinese corporations and government agencies were present. Before visiting UOB in Singapore, the delegates also participated in the Malaysia-China Business Council meeting yesterday in Kuala Lumpur supported by UOB Malaysia. 

Ng Wei Wei, UOB Malaysia’s CEO, also met CCPIT chairman Ren Hongbin to discuss collaboration opportunities.

Established under China’s State Council in 1952, CCPIT plans and implements policies to promote trade and investment relations between China and foreign countries. CCPIT’s affiliated body, the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC), was set up in 1988 to represent its members’ interests and support Chinese enterprises in overseas ventures.

Through its collaboration with UOB, more than 350,000 Chinese companies which are members of CCOIC will be able access UOB’s comprehensive suite of local and cross-border solutions. They will also be able tap on an ecosystem of strategic partners across UOB’s Southeast Asian network. Both parties will also facilitate UOB’s regional clients’ projects and businesses in China.

See also: Asean exporters' recovery facing growing and multi-faceted competition from China: Maybank

UOB and CCPIT will support enterprises in key industry sectors to build resilient supply chains,
drive progress through innovation, and practise sustainable development. Leveraging UOB’s strength in the region, the two parties will jointly strengthen services and support for Chinese enterprises investing in Asean.

Wee Ee Cheong, CEO of UOB, says: “With global supply chains continuing to shift into Southeast Asia, the region remains a bright spot and continues to attract investment flows. With our extensive regional footprint, strong sector solutions capabilities and regional payments, trade, and cash platforms, UOB is well positioned to support Chinese enterprises expanding into ASEAN. 

“This will promote the interconnection of local value chains, create more job opportunities and forge a brighter future for people and communities in this region,” he adds.

See also: All about Thai PM's US$14 billion cash handout to reignite growth

According to UOB, Chinese foreign direct investments (FDI) into Asean increased 81% from US$10.3 billion ($13.8 billion) in 2016 to US$18.7 billion in 2022, reflecting the region’s attractiveness to Chinese companies.

The collaboration with CCPIT draws on the strength of UOB’s FDI Advisory Unit, which was established in 2011 as a one-stop platform to help companies set up regional operations in Southeast Asia. 

To date, the FDI Advisory Unit has supported more than 1,500 Chinese companies expanding beyond their shores, of which more than 90% have moved into Southeast Asia. UOB has 10 FDI Advisory Centres across the region to help companies lower the barriers as they look to expand across borders.

Since 2020, the FDI Advisory Unit has facilitated more than $22 billion FDI into Southeast Asia from China and enabled the creation of more than 50,000 job opportunities in the region. 

Shares in UOB closed 11 cents higher or 0.39% up at $28.37 on Jan 31.

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