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Surbana Jurong signs MOUs with Chongqing and Hainan cities

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Teo Eng Cheong (front row, far left), Surbana Jurong’s CEO International (Singapore, Southeast Asia and North Asia) signs the MOU at the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Financial Summit.

Strengthening its footprint in China, Surbana Jurong has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Chongqing Municipal Government and Danzhou Municipal People’s Government respectively.

Firstly, together with China Construction Bank, Surbana Jurong has signed an MOU with the Chongqing Municipal Government to provide support in various areas of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity. Areas that the partners will jointly explore include the financing needs of major infrastructure construction, the potential development of a financial technology city and a digital economy pilot zone, the sustainable development of housing rental projects as well as smart cities projects.

Chongqing is a major city in southwest China and only one of four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government. The China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity is the third bilateral project between China and Singapore and is a strategic part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Surbana Jurong was the appointed masterplanner for the Chongqing Liangjiang New Area, providing the blueprint for the city to become a multi-modal hub.

This latest MOU develops from the collaboration agreement between Surbana Jurong and China Construction Bank signed in September of this year, to jointly pursue and develop business opportunities arising from the BRI, and to provide industry leading services to clients in the Asia-Pacific region on possible infrastructure construction projects.

Separately, Surbana Jurong has signed a collaborative MOU with the Danzhou Municipal People’s Government to explore collaboration in various areas including masterplanning and urban design. Danzhou is one of the major cities in Hainan province, and the Chinese government has recently earmarked Hainan as a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) that will span 35,400 sq km – which will make it the biggest FTZ in China. It aims to become an international shipping hub and a trading and investment gateway.

The Danzhou government, through the MOU, plans to leverage Surbana Jurong’s global track record and success in planning and design to develop the city into a sustainable industrialised town, to promote investment and raise the living standards of its residents.

“Today’s MOUs in two different cities, Chongqing as well as Danzhou, Hainan, signify Surbana Jurong’s continued commitment to working with our partners in China, to support the country in its continued growth and development,” said Teo Eng Cheong, Surbana Jurong’s CEO International (Singapore, Southeast Asia and North Asia). “Surbana Jurong will continue to contribute our expertise in planning, design, engineering and management, drawing on our global experience in urban and infrastructure projects, to develop sustainable and vibrant cities across China. We look forward to working closely with our partners in bringing their vision to reality.”

Architectural design firms join Surbana Jurong

In another development, Surbana Jurong is set to form one of the largest architectural groupings in the world with the joining of two global architectural firms - Canada-based B+H and Singapore-based SAA - as member companies. Surbana Jurong has also entered into a collaboration agreement with Hong Kong-headquartered Rocco Design Architects.

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Above, from left: Eric Ang, board member of Surbana Jurong; Ku Moon Lun, board member of Surbana Jurong; Bill Nankivell, CEO of B+H; Liew Mun Leong, chairman of Surbana Jurong; Wong Heang Fine, group CEO of Surbana Jurong; Rocco Yim, executive director of Rocco Design Architects; and Yeo Siew Haip, managing director of SAA.

B+H is a global consulting and design solutions firm providing architecture, interior design, planning, landscape design and strategic consulting services with 10 studios around the world. It is ranked 52 in the World Architecture Top 100 and 66 in the Top 100 Interior Design Giants.

SAA is among the Top 10 architecture firms in Singapore, with an established presence across Southeast Asia. It has expertise and experience in the design and delivery of architecture projects across the key sectors of transport, mixed use developments, commercial, healthcare, business parks and residential.

The addition of B+H and SAA aims to deepen Surbana Jurong’s technical capability to offer architectural and interior design services for both urban and infrastructure projects globally. It will also strengthen Surbana Jurong’s ability to provide comprehensive, end-to-end solutions, from development strategies, to design and engineering services, project and facilities management, and financing solutions to its clients.

The two new member companies will complement Surbana Jurong’s current market coverage. Surbana Jurong plans to tap B+H and SAA’s presence to expand its service offerings into new geographical markets such as North America and new growth sectors such as healthcare.
Surbana Jurong has also formed a collaboration with Rocco Design Architects in Hong Kong, led by renowned architect Rocco Yim. This long-term partnership intends to jointly pursue projects in the region, particularly Hong Kong and the Greater China Bay Area.

“Welcoming B+H and SAA into the Group reflects Surbana Jurong’s strategy to strengthen and transform our architectural practice and enable us to compete with the best in the world. With a larger pool of global design talents consisting of Surbana Jurong’s architects, new members B+H and SAA, and partnerships with other renowned architects such as Rocco Design, we will be able to nurture and groom future architectural talents by providing them with more exposure opportunities to projects globally,” explained Wong Heang Fine, group CEO of Surbana Jurong.

“Our growth strategy has always been about strengthening our capabilities so that as a Group, we can better serve our clients in more markets. Besides deepening our architectural expertise, the new member companies will also complement the Group’s current competencies. Having an integrated value-chain also allows us to propose holistic solutions from the start, resulting in better efficiencies and cost-savings for our clients.”

“This partnership accelerates B+H’s continued growth strategy and positions us to compete with major firms in the world,” commented Bill Nankivell, CEO of B+H. “Continued investments, consolidation, mergers and acquisitions in our industry are providing platforms for firms to grow, diversify, compete, and attract and retain the best talent. The B+H and Surbana Jurong partnership will allow us to deliver bold and inspiring projects in new geographies and sectors, providing extraordinary opportunities for our people.”

Yeo Siew Haip, managing director of SAA added, “This agreement represents the next stage of growth for SAA. We see this as being a natural fit given the synergies of our two businesses in terms of core values, competencies and clients. At the same time, joining the Surbana Jurong network gives SAA greater access to increased resources and wider scale. This will heighten our ability in securing new national and international projects, adding greater value to our design and service offerings to clients and partners.”

ISO 37001 certification on anti-bribery management systems

Furthermore, Surbana Jurong has also obtained the Singapore Standard (SS) ISO 37001 certification. It is believed to be the first, large corporate organisation in Singapore to be awarded the certification.

The ISO 37001 specifies requirements and provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving an organisation’s anti-bribery management system. Singapore adopted the ISO 37001 and launched the SS ISO 37001 in late 2017.

To obtain the certification, organisations must implement a series of measures that meet globally recognised anti-bribery good practices. These measures cover all aspects of an organisation, including top management leadership and commitment; financial, procurement and contractual controls; anti- bribery policy, procedures and training; third party risk assessments and due diligence; and reporting, monitoring and investigation procedures.

Mr Wong highlighted that as Surbana Jurong continues to grow globally, it is critical that the company continues to maintain its high standard of corporate governance and strengthen its compliance culture throughout the Group. “Being the first large company in Singapore to be certified ISO 37001 compliant underscores our commitment towards good corporate governance. With this certification, it also provides our partners added confidence when they work with us, in any part of the world.”

Liew Mun Leong, chairman of Surbana Jurong, stressed that it is important for Surbana Jurong to continuously uphold its core value of integrity among its people, and promote clean business strategy among its partners, clients and other key stakeholders. “Beyond these, the company must also be supported by rigorous anti-bribery management system. The ISO 37001 certification is an international standard adopted by many companies and countries as the acceptable anti-bribery preventive measure. This will serve as a useful separate check and balance management system to help monitor and document business operations to prevent bribery and corruption.”