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China can leverage on Singapore

China can leverage on Singapore

LEVERAGE ON SINGAPORE is the message that three SIM GE students presented, on the question of China improving its infrastructure.

Jamie Ng, 22 (left), and two of her classmates, Stella Henrietta, 19 (right), and Hong Cheng Boon Renee, 19 (middle), made a presentation during the Business China Youth Showdown competition, revolving on the theme ‘’One Belt, One Road’’, where they produced statistical charts and research findings to support their case on how Singapore can be a powerful leveraging tool. SIM GE manager Clara Ho (back of photo) made the arrangement for the students' participation in the event.

The One Belt One Road initiative was first unveiled in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping. The goal is to strengthen links with South-east Asian countries, Africa and Europe. This involved revamping the historical Silk Road, an ancient network of trade and culture dating back to the Han Dynasty about two millennia ago. The initiative also involves improving the infrastructures along the route which would also bring about economic growth to the surrounding countries.

The SIM GE team recognised that Singapore’s relevance to China is the key for Singapore’s survival. They, therefore, came up with the attributes that Singapore has which can be relevant to China in its pursuit, such as the island’s political stability and bilingual culture. At the same time, Singapore gets to enjoy a piece of the growing pie made possible by China.

Besides Singapore’s attributes, the presentation also involved the background of the Silk Road and what it is today. The words of famous philosophers such as Confucius and Sun Tzu resonated through the presentation, showing the influence and relevance of ancient Chinese thought in today’s context. A survey was also conducted within SIM with those between in ages of 18-35 to find out about their perception of Sino-Singapore relations.

The competition on July 15, 2015, attracted more than 250 students from Junior Colleges, Polytechnics and tertiary institutions, including a visiting China delegation of youths from Harbin and Qiqihar. In all, 11 participating teams presented using PowerPoint slides and creative self-made videos and skits.

Each of the 11 teams (from nine schools) had to present their knowledge and findings in both English and Mandarin. In terms of contents and research, SIM GE’s team did relatively well, says Jamie. “The three of us spent four weeks in intensive research and rehearsals,” she adds. Hwa Chong Institution emerged as overall champion.

Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Board Member of Business China, Mr Sam Tan, was the Guest-of-Honour. In his commencement remarks, Mr Tan said China’s “One Belt One Road” strategy would release opportunities and create new waves of growth in the region. He mentioned that Singaporean youths would be better prepared for the future if they could identify these opportunities now.

The SIM GE team have just completed their SIM Diploma in International Business. Jamie and Renee are about to enrol in SIM-University of Birmingham’s programme – BSc (Hons) International Business, and Stella in SIM-University of London programme – BSc (Hons) in Economics.