PM Lee Hsien Loong to visit Chongqing and attend G20 leaders' summit in Hangzhou

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a four-day trip to China on Friday (Sept 2).
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a four-day trip to China on Friday (Sept 2). ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

CHONGQING - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a four-day trip to China on Friday (Sept 2), which includes his first visit to Chongqing since the launch of a new Singapore-China project, and a visit to Hangzhou to attend the Group of 20 (G20) leaders' summit.

While in Hangzhou, Mr Lee will also have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday (Sept 1).

The visit to Chongqing is Mr Lee's first to the municipality since the launch last year of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI), the third and latest Singapore-China government-led project.

The other two projects are the Suzhou Industrial Park launched in 1994 and the Tianjin Eco-City launched in 2008.

The CCI is aimed at boosting growth in China's less-developed western region, focusing on financial services, aviation, transport and logistics, and information and communication technology.PM Lee will meet Chongqing party boss Sun Zhengcai, who is in the elite 25-member Politburo of the Communist Party of China and considered one of China's future top leaders. Mr Sun will host Mr Lee to dinner.

Mr Lee will also visit CapitaLand's S$4.1 billion Raffles City Chongqing mixed-development project, which is located in the historic Chaotianmen area and the largest single investment by the real estate company in China.

The Singapore Business Federation will lead a delegation to the city during Mr Lee's visit. It will include companies with investments in Chongqing, as well as those hoping to enter the growing market.

After his visit to Chongqing, Mr Lee will attend the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where he will join leaders from the world's 20 major economies in discussions on advancing global economic and financial cooperation to promote sustainable and inclusive growth.

Singapore is not a member of the G20, but is among eight guest nations invited to the two-day summit, which starts on Sunday (Sept 4).

Mr Xi had invited Mr Lee for the summit during his state visit to Singapore last November, which marked 25 years of diplomatic relations between both countries. It was during the visit that the CCI was officially launched.

 

Bilateral trade between Singapore and Chongqing grew by 17 per cent year-on-year to reach around US$2 billion in 2015.

Singapore investments in the city have doubled, from US$2.4 billion to US$5.7 billion between 2011 and 2015. Singapore is also Chongqing's third-largest external investor, behind Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

Mr Lee will be accompanied by Mrs Lee during his trip.

While in Chongqing, his delegation will include Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Education and Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary, and Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development Koh Poh Koon.

In Hangzhou, Mr Lee's delegation includes Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who is also Second Minister for Finance and co-chairman of the Singapore-Tianjin Economic and Trade Council.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will be Acting Prime Minister during Mr Lee's absence.