S'pore, China ink pacts to deepen cooperation in bilateral projects

Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State for National Development, and Ms Huang Yan, China's Vice-Minister for Housing and Urban-Rural Development, representing their ministries in agreeing to form a joint expert panel to advise on the development of the T
Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State for National Development, and Ms Huang Yan, China's Vice-Minister for Housing and Urban-Rural Development, representing their ministries in agreeing to form a joint expert panel to advise on the development of the Tianjin Eco-City yesterday. Behind them are DPM Teo and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

DPM Teo and his Chinese counterpart discuss projects' progress, future directions

Singapore and China have signed four cooperation pacts, including one for each of the three government-led projects, a day after inking 15 agreements on mainly commercial deals.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli witnessed the signing ceremony yesterday after they reviewed the progress made in the three bilateral flagship projects and discussed the direction of future bilateral cooperation.

The four agreements included cooperation in intellectual property rights protection, furthering collaboration in the biomedical industry, and the development of a transport and logistics hub.They are:

SUZHOU INDUSTRIAL PARK (SIP)

A letter of intent was signed by its Administrative Committee, the National University of Singapore and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology to deepen cooperation in the biomedical industry. The SIP, the first of three joint government projects, was started in 1994.

DPM TEO ON U.S.-CHINA TIES

We hope for good relations between the US and China because that certainly would help create a positive environment in the region as well as in the world for cooperation, trade and security... My sense is that China does want good and stable relations with the US.

ON FREE TRADE

We are committed to working together with the Asean countries and the Plus Six countries to try and move the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) forward. That is important for us because we are committed to free trade. RCEP does promote that and this is an important step towards a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific, which I think all of us want.

ON NEW IDEAS

In the (One Belt, One Road initiative), there are many possibilities we can work on together. This is a new phase of China's development and we are already discussing, talking, working together on some of these ideas, where we can (create new thinking).

TIANJIN ECO-CITY

Singapore's National Development Ministry and China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development agreed to form a joint expert panel to exchange ideas, and advise on how the city can continue to develop in a sustainable manner. The panel will comprise experts from the government, private sector, academic institutions and research organisations.

  • $1.97b

    Estimated worth of agreements with Tianjin Eco-City and Chongqing.

The 30 sq km green township development broke ground in 2008. It now has a population of 70,000 and 4,500 registered companies.

CHONGQING CONNECTIVITY INITIATIVE

For this project, announced in November 2015, IE Singapore and the Chongqing municipal government signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the implementation of two commercial projects aimed at improving Chongqing's transport links to South-east Asia and Central Asia.

FOURTH AGREEMENT

A fourth agreement signed between intellectual property rights agencies from both countries and the Guangdong provincial government will help facilitate the growth of innovation-driven companies.

It will leverage the strategic location of the intellectual property reform pilot zone in the Guangzhou Knowledge City. Started in 2011, the private sector-led and government-supported project aims to develop high-tech industries in Guangdong.

On Sunday, Singapore agencies signed five agreements with Tianjin Eco-City to develop infrastructure and services. Companies from both countries also formalised 10 commercial deals in Chongqing.

Worth around US$1.4 billion (S$1.97 billion), the deals cover transport and logistics, information and communications technology, finance and healthcare.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore, China ink pacts to deepen cooperation in bilateral projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe