Singapore, China to facilitate essential travel between them in early June


SINGAPORE — Singapore and China will launch a Fast Lane arrangement in early June, in order to facilitate essential travel for business and official purposes between the countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

In a video-conference between Chee Wee Kiong, Singapore’s Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Luo Zhaohui, China’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs on Thursday (28 May), both countries also agreed to explore increasing air links for the Fast Lane.

The arrangement would be first applied between Singapore and the six Chinese provinces or municipalities directly under the central government: Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

It will be gradually expanded to the other Chinese provinces and municipalities.

Securing connectivity of production and supply chains

During the China-Singapore joint video-conference meeting, both countries agreed that the prevention and control of COVID-19 and the economic and social recovery in both countries have entered a new phase.

China had successfully held the 13th National People's Congress and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, while Singapore will soon relax its circuit breaker measures and gradually resume its economic and social activities.

Both sides agreed to step up the efficiency of freight linkages and customs clearance, which includes facilitating the flow of goods such as essential medical supplies and food. This will be significant in securing the connectivity of production and supply chains between the two countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appreciation for mutual support during pandemic

Both countries also agreed to further advance their cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, especially by maintaining progress in three Government-to-Government projects.

These include maximising the role of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative-New International Land Sea Trade Corridor in further strengthening trade connectivity between Western China and Southeast Asia; enhancing financial connectivity; and strengthening third-party market cooperation.

Both sides expressed appreciation for the mutual support and assistance rendered over the course of the pandemic, including to the nationals residing in each other’s countries during this period.

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