About this series
Building Asia is a collection of business stories on CNA that examines the financial forces driving Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse.
Lingang Group – A financial gateway to Southeast Asia was first aired on 17 October 2022 under the Building Asia with UOB series. It looks at how UOB partnered with the Lingang Group to connect domestic and foreign businesses with expansion opportunities within China and ASEAN.
Yang Jing (Chief Financial Officer, Lingang Group and Chairwoman, Lingang Overseas):
The Lin-gang Special Area encompasses an area of 873 sq km, of which 120 sq km is currently being developed.
Together with Lujiazui and the Bund, they form a trio of financial districts key to Shanghai's role as an international financial hub.
Adaline Zheng (Managing Director and Head of Wholesale Banking, UOB China):
On the one hand, we have foreign enterprises that want to enter the domestic market. On the other, we have Chinese enterprises that want to expand internationally.
In terms of trade and investment liberalisation, the Lin-gang Special Area has proven to be a very good platform.
It can become an important node for coordinated development of onshore and offshore businesses.
The Lingang Group has 40 years of experience in developing industrial parks. Being one of the main forces behind the development of the Lin-gang Special Area, the Lingang Group takes on a greater responsibility in supporting the development of the enterprises. That helps the enterprises located within the area to expand into Southeast Asia.
On the 20th of August 2021, the second anniversary of Lin-gang Special Area, we signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with UOB and over the past year, we have seen many innovative financial solutions.
For example, one of our clients is a Chinese SME from another province. The company has a factory in Thailand and another in China. Between Thailand and China, they wanted to have greater flexibility and ease of fund transactions.
What we did for our client was that we took away the need to set up another company outside of Thailand. Instead, they set up in Lin-gang Special Area and we created a direct cross-border cash operation between Lingang and Thailand.
This cross-border capital pool greatly reduces the client's operating costs as well as improves the efficiency in the use of funds.
Yes, this case has now become a great example for the many other enterprises in Lin-gang Special Area to adopt. We also hope to provide more of such opportunities to our enterprises so that they can take advantage of what UOB has to offer.
Here you can see the layout of Lin-gang Special Area. We hope that in future we will have more innovative collaborations with UOB to jointly provide our clients in Lin-gang Special Area with financial solutions that support their development.
UOB is more than a banking partner of the Lingang Group. We are also a strategic partner of the Lingang ecosystem. UOB will make full use of our extensive overseas network, especially in ASEAN given our extensive regional footprint and strong cultural knowledge, to provide our clients and the enterprises in the Lin-gang Special Area a full spectrum of cross-border financial services.
We look forward to greater cooperation in the Lin-gang Special Area.