BEIJING - Singapore and China have reaffirmed their excellent bilateral ties and agreed to enhance cooperation across multiple fields.
On Thursday (Oct 18), Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He agreed to deepen bilateral partnership in the areas of finance, regional infrastructure development, education as well as science and technology in their meeting at the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission office.
Mr Liu, China's top leader for economic affairs, said that the "very, very good" state of bilateral ties was anchored by the frequent exchanges and visits between top leaders on both sides, as well as strong cooperation in the commercial sectors.
He cited President Xi Jinping's state visit to Singapore in 2015 and the string of reciprocal visits since, as well as Vice-Premier Han Zheng's trip to Singapore last month for the annual Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) that he co-chairs with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
Mr Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, agreed, noting that Singapore investors have had a long history and good record in China.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, for instance, celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first office in China this year.
"(GIC is) one of the early, major investors in China, and it's been a good experience: continually growing, moving into more sectors, and building very good relationships," Mr Tharman said.
"So it's a good occasion to commemorate one facet of the relationship between our two countries."
In September, GIC and Singapore-headquartered Global Logistic Properties (GLP) launched a US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) fund to invest in China logistics assets.
GIC is holding its annual GIC Insights Forum in Beijing on Thursday, with Mr Tharman as guest of honour at the anniversary dinner.
Both leaders also exchanged views on the global economic situation and geostrategic issues of mutual concernat the meeting, and discussed Singapore and China's respective economic and social priorities, and strategies.
On Friday, Mr Tharman leaves Beijing for a two-day visit to Copenhagen, where he will attend and speak at the inaugural Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit.
While in Denmark, he will also meet leaders in government and the social sector to discuss Danish pension reforms and lifelong learning.
Mr Tharman will then travel to Helsinki, where he will meet Finnish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo and business leaders, as well as visit Finnish education and lifelong learning institutions.