China lifts status of Sino-S'pore project

ESM Goh Chok Tong touring the Guangzhou Knowledge City yesterday. With him are (third from left) Mr Chen Zhiying, Party Secretary of Guangzhou Development District, Guangzhou Mayor Chen Jianhua (in white) and Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City C
ESM Goh Chok Tong touring the Guangzhou Knowledge City yesterday. With him are (third from left) Mr Chen Zhiying, Party Secretary of Guangzhou Development District, Guangzhou Mayor Chen Jianhua (in white) and Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City CEO Ng Kok Siong (at right).PHOTO: MCI

BEIJING • China has agreed to upgrade the status of the Guangzhou Knowledge City (GKC) to a "state- level strategic project", said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, adding that Singapore is happy to lend its support.

"We are now waiting for the next step to be put forth to the Singapore Government. Once that is done, I will see more cooperation between Guangzhou, Guangdong and Singapore," Mr Goh told reporters during a tour of the project yesterday, which kick-started his six-day visit to China and South Korea.

Designed to attract high-tech industries and creative talent, the GKC was the first of a new model of cooperation - led by the private sector and backed by governments - between Singapore and China to minimise strain on state resources.

The 123 sq km site, which broke ground in 2010, is a 50-50 joint venture between Temasek-owned Singbridge International and Guangzhou Development District Administrative Committee.

Mr Goh said Chinese officials are hoping the elevation will lead to policy measures by the central government for the GKC that can help level the playing field with other state-level projects in the province. He said he was looking forward to the GKC's next stage of development, which is attracting companies and talent.

Kor Kian Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'China lifts status of Sino-S'pore project'. Print Edition | Subscribe