Chongqing picked for 3rd govt-to-govt project

Residential and commercial buildings in Chongqing in 2011. PHOTO: ST FILE

Chongqing in south-western China, with a population of 33 million people, is one of the largest cities in the world.

Yesterday, Chongqing Municipality was announced as the site of the third government-to-government project between Singapore and China, beating two other sites - Chengdu, capital of south-western Sichuan province, and Xi'an, capital of north-western Shaanxi province.

During their meeting yesterday, Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Chongqing as the site for the third government- to-government project.

The Chongqing project follows in the footsteps of the 1994 Suzhou Industrial Park and the 2008 Tianjin Eco-City.

The project could help Singapore companies tap growth in the western region of China.

Chongqing, which has a land area of 82,400 sq km, registered 10.7 per cent gross domestic product growth in the first half of this year - the highest growth rate of all of China's provinces and regions.

In vying for the project, Chongqing had proposed a joint modern services demonstration zone, where Singapore firms can offer legal and accounting services, as well as an integrated logistics centre comprising an aviation and port logistics hub.

Chengdu had suggested a joint international financial city, while Xi'an had envisaged a Silk Road Economic Belt free trade zone.

Chongqing was one of China's industrial bases and is now strengthening its five backbone industries, including cars and chemicals, as well as boosting the development of high-tech industries.

As an important node along the new "Silk Road Economic Belt", Chongqing is set to benefit from the "One Belt, One Road" strategy initiated by the Chinese government.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline Chongqing picked for 3rd govt-to-govt project. Subscribe