PM Lee, Chongqing party chief discuss ways to boost bilateral project

CapitaLand group CEO Lim Ming Yan updating PM Lee on Raffles City Chongqing during his visit yesterday. The $4.9 billion residential and commercial development is the biggest single investment by a Singapore firm in China.
CapitaLand group CEO Lim Ming Yan updating PM Lee on Raffles City Chongqing during his visit yesterday. The $4.9 billion residential and commercial development is the biggest single investment by a Singapore firm in China.PHOTO: CAPITALAND

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday met Chongqing party chief Sun Zhengcai and discussed ways to take forward the newest Singapore-China bilateral project, during his visit to Chongqing.

Ten months after the launch of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI), both leaders spoke about exploring new areas for policy innovation which have a "catalytic effect and can be replicated across China", said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

They noted that the close cooperation between Singapore and the south-western Chinese city has been enhanced by the project.

The CCI also came up for discussion on Friday, when Mr Lee met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hangzhou.

 
 

The PMO said Mr Lee and Mr Sun noted the significance and support that Mr Xi has given to the project, the third government-led project between Singapore and China. The other two are the Suzhou Industrial Park, launched in 1994, and the Tianjin Eco-city, launched in 2008.

The CCI is seen as a key part of Mr Xi's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, which aims to revive two ancient trade routes that will connect 65 countries over three continents.

Yesterday, Mr Lee and Mr Sun discussed the project's role as a key platform in operationalising the initiative. They also spoke about ways to boost cooperation between Singapore and Chongqing, which was recently announced as one of seven new free trade zones in China.

Mr Lee, who was on the second day of a four-day working visit to China, also met a Singapore business delegation led by the Singapore Business Federation yesterday. Over lunch with businessmen and SBF chairman Teo Siong Seng, he spoke about the significance of the CCI, as well as opportunities for Singapore companies in Chongqing.

He also visited CapitaLand's Raffles City Chongqing development, and was shown a 3D model of the project. The 24 billion yuan (S$4.9 billion) residential and commercial development is the biggest single investment by a Singapore company in China and is scheduled to be fully completed by 2019.

CapitaLand group chief executive Lim Ming Yan explained the project's construction to Mr Lee, as the development is built on uneven terrain near the water's edge.

Yesterday, Changi Airport Group (CAG) also announced it is now connected via Chongqing to Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, with the launch of a new West Air service four times a week. This new link opens up opportunities for trade and leisure travel between Singapore and cities under China's One Belt, One Road plan, CAG said.

Today, Mr Lee will attend the Group of 20 leaders' summit in Hangzhou, at Mr Xi's invitation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 04, 2016, with the headline 'PM Lee, Chongqing party chief discuss ways to boost bilateral project'. Print Edition | Subscribe