Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Suzhou and Beijing for series of meetings

Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat met Jiangsu party secretary Lou Qinjian in Suzhou on Wednesday (Nov 22) on the first day of his five-day visit to China.
Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat met Jiangsu party secretary Lou Qinjian in Suzhou on Wednesday (Nov 22) on the first day of his five-day visit to China. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE

SINGAPORE - Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is visiting Suzhou and later Beijing for a series of meetings and engagements from Wednesday (Nov 22) to Sunday.

His first meeting on Wednesday was with new Jiangsu party secretary Lou Qinjian, who was appointed to the post last month to replace Mr Li Qiang, who became Shanghai party boss following the 19th party congress.

At the hour-long meeting, Mr Heng and Mr Lou discussed areas of cooperation, such as on the Belt and Road Initiative, where Jiangsu is a key node, and ways for both sides to help companies go international.

On Thursday, Mr Heng will also co-chair the 11th Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC) meeting with Jiangsu Governor Wu Zhenglong in Suzhou.

The meeting, co-organised by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, will review cooperation initiatives in the past year, and discuss new areas of collaboration in the coming year, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Wednesday.

More than 65 Singapore business representatives from over 35 Singapore companies will be part of the SJCC meeting.

Mr Heng will also launch the NUS Enterprise's BLOCK71 Suzhou, a hub for startups located in Suzhou Industrial Park. This will be the first BLOCK71 development in China.

Following this, Mr Heng will travel to Beijing to attend the IE Singapore-CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit, where he will launch the Global Innovation Alliance (Beijing).

The summit seeks to provide a platform for startups' technology to achieve practical application in real-life scenarios.

In Beijing, Mr Heng will visit Tsinghua University and deliver an address outlining his views about Singapore's relations with China to students there.

He will also call on senior Chinese officials, and visit ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing.

Mr Heng is accompanied by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry & National Development Koh Poh Koon, as well as officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and IE Singapore.