Singapore-China Chongqing project 'making good progress'

The new Singapore-China project in south-western Chongqing city has made "good progress" in its early stage of implementation, said Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and Chongqing party chief Sun Zhengcai.

In their meeting here yesterday, they also discussed ways to advance projects and policy innovations in the four areas identified under the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) to enhance Chong- qing's connectivity and to lower financing and logistics costs.

A statement from Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said: "Both sides affirmed their commitment to working closely together in order to achieve the vision of anchoring Chongqing's hub status in Western China."

The CCI, whose theme is modern connectivity and modern services, is the third government-led project between Singapore and China after the Suzhou Industrial Park in 1994 and the Tianjin Eco-city in 2008.

Unlike the first two projects, the CCI, which has identified four priority areas in finance, telecommunications, aviation and logistics, is not limited to physical development. Initiatives that promote modern connectivity and services within China or with other countries could be parked under the CCI, which was launched when President Xi Jinping visited Singapore.

In January, the CCI inked 11 deals with Singapore businesses with investment value of some US$6.56 billion (S$8.94 billion). By March, the Chongqing government said it had identified some 260 initiatives worth US$115 billion that could be parked under the CCI and would be "gradually implemented".

The meeting with Mr Sun kickstarted a two-day visit for Mr Chan, who is Singapore's point man for the CCI and also its labour chief.

Mr Chan is attending the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative Seminar, which is being held today for the first time.

The event is organised by MTI and the Chongqing government, in partnership with Singapore's Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao and Chongqing Daily.

It is expected to draw over 200 participants from Singapore and China, who will brainstorm ideas for the CCI and also seek new business opportunities.

Among them are some 50 top honchos from 29 Singapore firms who make up the largest business delegation from the Republic to visit Chongqing since last November.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore-China Chongqing project 'making good progress''. Print Edition | Subscribe