World / China-Singapore

Third China-Singapore project is a reflection of stronger ties

By Zheng Xin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-07 07:51

The joint business park initiative being planned by China and Singapore in western China reflects deepened cooperation between the two governments, experts say.

"This third project between the countries - after Suzhou Industrial Park and the environmentally friendly residential area in Tianjin - is very much in line with both their strategic development needs," said Xu Liping, a senior researcher in Southeast Asian Affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"The intergovernmental project marks an upgrade in bilateral relations, especially against the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative."

The new project will focus on logistics and finance, and is considered more pace-setting and forward-looking in its planning and cooperation models compared with the two existing China-Singapore projects, said Chen Xiaodong, Chinese ambassador to Singapore.

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli visited Singapore in October for an official visit, during which he presided over the 17th China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Suzhou Industrial Park, and the Eighth China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Tianjin Eco-city.

The Suzhou and Tianjin initiatives are considered flagship projects between the two governments, both of which have the promotion of high-tech industries and sustainable development at their core.

The Suzhou park is the largest ever cooperative project between China and Singapore. Opened in 1994, it has attracted $26.7 billion in foreign investment, with no fewer that 90 Fortune 500 enterprises now invested there. Tianjin's Eco-city was inaugurated in 2008 and has also served as a model for sustainable development.

Singapore is now China's largest investment source, while China is Singapore's major trading partner. Trade between the countries grew to $95.8 billion last year, rising from $2.8 billion in 1990. The two countries are also celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations this year.

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