S'pore and China to promote Tianjin Eco-city's development experience to other cities

Both countries will also cooperate further on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Kayla Wong | September 21, 2018, 12:43 PM

Singapore and China have agreed to promote the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city's development experience in not only other Chinese cities, but also regions along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the future.

Replicate developing experience in other cities

According to a press release by the Prime Minster's Office (PMO) on Thursday (Sep 20), after a series of meetings including the 14th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and China's Vice Premier Han Zheng, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate towards that end.

Han, one of China's four vice premiers who is also a member of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) -- the country's most powerful decision-making body -- is currently on an official visit to Singapore from Sep 19 to Sep 21.

According to Today, after the high-level bilateral meeting, Teo also reiterated to the media that other than continuing to develop the projects further, both governments can promote the experience gained from the projects in third countries.

This is in line with its vision to be a "practical, replicable and scalable model for sustainable development", according to the press release.


7 MOUs were signed

In total, seven MOUs were signed after the meetings, including the MOU on "Promoting the Replication of the Eco-city’s Development Experience".

The other six were:

  1. Collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Suzhou Municipal Government on Deepening Exchanges through the Attachment of Singapore Government Officials to Suzhou
  2. Cooperation in the Training of Senior Officials between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chongqing Organisation Department
  3. Strengthening Exchanges in the Arts between the National Arts Council and China National Arts Fund
  4. Establishment of NUS’s Research Institute in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area to Strengthen Cooperation with Western China in Research, Technology Transfer & Commercialisation and Training
  5. Collaboration between Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the SIP Administrative Committee (SIPAC) on Furthering Cooperation in Entrepreneurship, Technological Innovation and Commercialisation
  6. Establishment of an International Intellectual Property Innovation Service Centre in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City.

What's up with the Tianjin Eco-city?

The Tianjin Eco-city is Singapore's second joint project with China.

It is a 50-50 joint venture between a Singapore consortium led by Keppel Corp and a Chinese consortium.

It was launched 10 years ago in 2008 with the aim of transforming the "barren wasteland" into a "thriving green and sustainable eco-city", according to the eco-city's chief executive Tay Lim Heng who told The Straits Times.

Currently, there are more than 100,000 people living in the eco-city.

Deeper cooperation on China's BRI

Today also reported that for the first time, China's BRI was a stand-alone agenda item in the JCBC meeting.

The BRI aims to promote global trade by funding infrastructure projects in more than 60 countries, which include 60 per cent of the world's population.

Teo added that both countries are "natural partners along the Belt and Road", and that the BRI is one of the many areas both sides will focus on in the long term.

According to the PMO's press release on Sep 20, both countries "welcomed more mutually beneficial cooperation under the [BRI]" in areas such as:

  • infrastructural connectivity
  • financial connectivity
  • third country cooperation & training
  • professional and legal & judicial services (covering cooperation in mediation, arbitration and dispute resolution)

Top image via Teo Chee Hean/FB