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Kusu News 26-Feb-2021

'Team Singapore' partnerships a key route for internationalisation

20-Feb-2021 The Business Times


THE success of the GlobalConnect@SBF programme, which has facilitated 15 projects by Singapore businesses and helped establish them in overseas markets, showcases how Singapore businesses can come together as Team Singapore when internationalising.

Speaking at the GlobalConnect@SBF Showcase, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing noted that the exhibited companies fell into three categories: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) partnering each other, SMEs partnering Enterprise Singapore (ESG) or the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), and smaller companies partnering large enterprises.

Mr Chan was the guest of honour at Friday's showcase where he also witnessed the signing of two strategic partnerships with UOB and Keppel Land under the GlobalConnect@SBF Strategic Partnerships platform.

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China Faces European Obstacles as Some Countries Heed U.S. Pressure.

23-Feb-2021 WSJ

Some European countries are starting to block Chinese involvement in their economies, drawing closer to positions advocated by the U.S. amid growing anxiety in Europe over China’s increasingly aggressive geopolitical posture.

Governments from the Baltic to the Adriatic seas have recently canceled public tenders that Chinese state-owned companies were set to win, or are moving to ban Chinese companies from investing or contracting in their countries.

The shifts have been prompted by a mix of national-security concerns and disappointment with the performance of Chinese contractors, say officials involved in the decisions. Several of the canceled projects fell within China’s world-wide infrastructure initiative, Belt and Road, which has disappointed several participating countries.

The shift is largely taking place in smaller European countries, adding to tensions within the European Union, where big countries still largely favor maintaining business links with China.

Romania and Lithuania are taking broad measures to exclude Chinese companies from certain public procurements. Other moves are more targeted. Authorities in Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Romania have suspended public tenders involving Chinese companies for work on nuclear-power plants, highways, rail lines, security scanners and a shipping-container terminal. Greece is debating whether to allow a Chinese shipping company to increase its majority stake in the country’s largest port.

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Last Week Singapore Released Its 2021 Budget. What’s in It?

In the aftermath of COVID-19, the city-state is characteristically looking to the private sector to get the economy moving again.

23-Feb-2021 The Diplomat

Last week, Singapore’s Ministry of Finance released its budget for 2021. Despite controlling the spread of COVID-19 within its own borders, Singapore is heavily reliant on the global flow of people, goods, and capital, and so has been especially hard hit by the pandemic. 

The economy shrank by a record 5.8 percent in 2020. As bad as that is, it would have been worse had the government not mobilized extensive fiscal resources, tapping its well of accumulated reserves to pump nearly S$100 billion of coronavirus aid into the economy.

The question now is where do things go from here as the country tries to pull out of the worst recession in its history and the 2021 budget holds some answers. So what’s in it?

The truth is, nothing ground-breaking. The new budget mostly signals a desire to get the ship back on track without resorting to further deficit-busting fiscal stimulus or drastically changing the market-friendly, pro-business orientation of the economy.

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Analysis: Can Asia help Myanmar find a way out of coup crisis?

26-Feb-2021 BBC

The arrival of the Myanmar junta-appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, in Bangkok on Wednesday for an unannounced meeting with his Thai and Indonesian counterparts marked the start of a daunting diplomatic undertaking for South East Asia.

No details were released of what was discussed. This first official contact with a senior member of the junta was so delicate that, when asked about it, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was unwilling to confirm that it had even happened.

In fact for every country with an interest in what happens in Myanmar, the crisis presents an unusually thorny challenge.

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