Lawrence Wong in China for eco-city's anniversary

The approach to Tianjin Eco-city from the Rainbow Bridge in the Tianjin Binhai New Area, photographed in 2017.
The approach to Tianjin Eco-city from the Rainbow Bridge in the Tianjin Binhai New Area, photographed in 2017.PHOTO: SINO-SINGAPORE TIANJIN ECO-CITY ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong arrives in China today for a three-day visit, during which he is due to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Tianjin Eco-city.

He will also be meeting Chinese leaders in Beijing and Tianjin, where he is expected to discuss bilateral cooperation in both the eco-city and other areas, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) in a statement.

In Tianjin, Mr Wong will co-chair the annual Singapore-Tianjin Economic and Trade Council today with the city's mayor Zhang Guoqing. Both leaders will discuss future areas of economic collaboration in sustainable development, trade connectivity and innovation, said the MND.

But the highlight of Mr Wong's visit will be the 10th anniversary celebrations of the eco-city.

The Tianjin Eco-city is one of three joint government projects between Singapore and China, the others being the Suzhou Industrial Park and Chongqing Connectivity Initiative. The project is meant to be a model of sustainable development for China.

When work began on the eco-city in 2008, the land was heavily polluted and had severe water shortages. Now, the area has transformed into a leafy 30 sq km township with 100,000 residents and more than 7,000 registered companies and institutions.

But development of the city is not finished, and both countries are now focusing on the city centre and developing a new Central Business District there.

 
 
 
 

In its entirety, the Tianjin Eco-city is also part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region that is being transformed into China's new growth engine. Chinese leaders have said the eco-city's experiences will be crucial in creating a more environmentally friendly development model.

Last week, Singapore and China inked a deal during a Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting in Singapore, where they agreed to work together to replicate the Tianjin Eco-city's development experience, both in Chinese cities and in other Belt and Road regions.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, a Sino-Singapore Friendship Library will also be launched during Mr Wong's visit.

Accompanying Mr Wong is a delegation comprising Singapore businessmen across various sectors, such as logistics, innovation and professional services.

Also with Mr Wong is Senior Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Development Sun Xueling, as well as officials from MND, Enterprise Singapore and other agencies involved in the eco-city project.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2018, with the headline 'Lawrence Wong in China for eco-city's anniversary'. Print Edition | Subscribe