The first involves a tie-up between Keppel Logistics and North Star Food Product, a trading unit of the Ascendas-Singbridge group, whose Singbridge subsidiary is part owner of the food zone.
The deal aims to leverage Keppel's logistics capabilities to bring products from China to Singapore and South-east Asia.
These include the Fragrance 43°N japonica rice—the first product unveiled by the agribusiness park. Other products, including white and yellow millet, black fungus and asparagus, are expected to be exported to Singapore later this year.
The second deal was between the Guangze group and the food zone manager JVMC to mark the adoption of integrated food safety system standards at Guangze's cheese powder processing plant, which is expected to begin operations in August.
"As one of the countries with the most rigorous food safety requirements, Singapore not only serves as a key consumption market for the food zone, but also contributes its valuable experience and technology in food safety management to the food zone,” said JVMC chief executive Yip Hon Mun.
The Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone has attracted nearly 40 projects worth RMB15bn (US$2.2bn) since the idea was first by Lee Hsien Loong, then Singapore’s prime minister, and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. Its mission has been to diversify food sources for Singapore and improve Chinese safety standards.
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FAO praises ‘Belt and Road’ project
China’s Belt and Road initiative can help achieve sustainable development goals provided it addresses the needs of millions of farmers and fishermen in the countries involved.
That’s according to the director-general of the Food and Agriculture Office of the United Nations, José Graziano da Silva, this weekend in Beijing at a forum on the strategy which links China with Eurasia.
The event, he said, provided a unique impetus for an international concerted effort to promote "a more balanced, equitable and inclusive development along the Belt and Road".
"Agriculture is a crucial sector. It accounts for more than 25% of GDP, as well as for more than 40% of employment in many countries involved in the Initiative," he told leaders from 29 participating countries.
The Belt and Road initiative, according to Graziano da Silva, opens a "great opportunity" among all countries involved to engage in South-South Cooperation—an FAO-promoted model of development which has proven effective in creating jobs, building infrastructure and promoting trade among developing countries across the "global South”.
China has played “a leading role in the support of FAO's South-South cooperation programme. It has benefitted over 30 countries and produced strong impacts in developing countries," Graziano da Silva said, after President Xi Jinping pledged in his keynote speech to provide US$1bn to countries along the Belt and Road in development assistance for deprived rural areas.