SHENZHEN: This southern boomtown bordering Hong Kong is sending a group of 129 public servants to Singapore in three stages to learn from the city state's administration.
Mayor Xu Zongheng said the trip would significantly contribute to Shenzhen's urban construction, planning and management.
The public servants are from nine government agencies - the office for organizing establishment committees, housing, land, urban planning, transportation, water management, environmental protection, urban management and legal affairs office.
They have been divided into three teams and the first group arrived in Singapore this week. The others will arrive on Monday and the following Friday, to start their five-day study tour.
A recent visit by the mayor to Singapore gave him an insight into that city's urban construction, planning and development, areas in which Shenzhen lags.
"Public servants in Singapore have a strong sense of crisis, internationalism, consistent development and people orientation that our public servants should learn from," Xu said.
"We should also learn from their expertise in industrial development, urban construction, management, environmental protection and laws."
Xu urged the public servants to carefully study typical cases and find practical solutions that could be applied to solve the problems of Shenzhen, such as sewage treatment and housing.
Shenzhen and Singapore share many common features such as having a relatively short history, a booming economy, and pursuing the same goal of becoming an international city.
The public has backed the mayor's move and expressed hope the public servants would learn valuable lessons to further promote the city's development.
"Our government is showing a strong sense of serving the public by sending these public servants to learn from Singapore," Jiang Fei, a bank clerk, said.
"I think it's significant we are going to learn from Singapore which has a sound legal system. The Shenzhen government sometimes introduces policies at will," he said.