Surbana Jurong, a global urban and infrastructure consulting firm headquartered in Singapore and owned by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, and Silk Road Fund, a Chinese medium to long term investment fund dedicated to support the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), entered into a Framework Agreement on 29 April to set up a Co-Investment Platform that will focus on greenfield infrastructure projects primarily in Southeast Asia.
The partners expect to invest about USD 500 million over the next few years, with each partner investing in principle equal amounts in the projects. Investments of the platform could take various forms, including equity and debt. This partnership was initiated and facilitated by Infrastructure Asia, a regional infrastructure project facilitation office under the Singapore government, launched in October 2018. Infrastructure Asia brought Surbana Jurong and Silk Road Fund together due to their complementary capabilities and common intent of investing in Southeast Asia.
Surbana Jurong, which will invest through its investment arm, Surbana Jurong Capital, will leverage its familiarity with local markets through having offices in these BRI countries and recommend projects to the Platform, and both partners will then jointly assess the suitability of the projects for investment.
This agreement was signed during a visit by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to China. During the visit, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Under the first MOU, Singapore and Shanghai will establish a Ministerial-level platform to deepen cooperation in six key areas, namely (a) Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), (b) financial services cooperation, (c) technology and innovation, (d) ease of doing business, (e) urban governance, and (f) people-to-people exchanges. The second MOU sets up an Implementation Framework for enhancing cooperation under the BRI between Singapore and China in third-party markets in sectors such as logistics, e-commerce, infrastructure and professional services such as financial and legal services. Both sides will formulate and maintain a project list to keep track of third-party market cooperation projects between Singapore and China.
(Sources: Surbana Jurong; Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore)