DPM Teo Chee Hean in wrapping up his official 6-day visit to China, said yesterday (15 Apr) that Singapore is well positioned to collaborate with China in more areas.
He said that with both countries set to celebrate 30 years of relations next year, the existing base of cooperation stands Singapore in good stead as China shifts away from discrete, city-level development to a more city-cluster, regional development mindset.
The government-to-government (G2G) projects and the seven business councils that Singapore has in China are individual projects that grew out of the old framework, but they provide a solid base from which to engage China in its new phase of development, he said.
As China is embarking on its Belt and Road Initiative to build infrastructure links around the world, Singapore is trying to see how it can work with China to make Chinese investments in third countries good and worthwhile investments, he added.
One of the G2G projects mentioned by Mr Teo yesterday was the Tianjin Eco-city, built on the suburb of Tianjin.
The project started in 2008 and celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. In fact, it is supposed to house 350,000 residents in the city by 2020. This was mentioned by then Minister Of State Lee Yi Shyan at a conference in 2012.
He said, “In green technology and practices, Singapore is most willing to share and learn from other countries through collaborations. The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city project is an example of how we can achieve more through collaboration between countries. The project was mooted in 2007 by then Singapore Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong and Chinese Premier Mr Wen Jiabao.”
And added, “It will house 350,000 residents when fully completed in around 2020.”
However, according to Zaobao reporting at the 10th anniversary celebration of Tianjin Eco-City last Sep, officially, only about 100,000 residents lived in the city. This is still a far cry of the 350,000 target to be reached by next year.