China, Singapore hold annual cooperation meetings

Updated: 2015-10-13 13:48


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SINGAPORE - China and Singapore started Tuesday morning three annual meetings of bilateral cooperation in Singapore, pledging to deepen cooperation in intergovernmental projects so as to forge ahead bilateral ties of mutual benefit.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean first co-chaired the 17th China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Suzhou Industrial Park.

In his opening remarks, Zhang said the two sides will discuss ways to further share development opportunities so as to jointly lift the Suzhou Industrial Park to a new level.

He said he believes the meeting will be conducive to further exerting the role of the Suzhou Industrial Park "being a reform experimental field" and turning the park into a modern innovation- driven high-tech zone with a new mechanism of open economy.

Zhang and Teo will also preside over the eighth China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Tianjin Eco-city, and the 12th meeting of China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), a high-level institutional mechanism established in 2003 to oversee the entire range of bilateral cooperation.

Sources close to the meetings told Xinhua that a third intergovernmental project in western China will be discussed at the JCBC meeting.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Chen Xiaodong, the third project will focus on connectivity, modern logistics and finance.

Zhang's entourage this time also includes officials from Chongqing Municipality, an economic hub along the Yangtze River in western China.

Other topics of the JCBC meeting include the upgrading of bilateral free trade agreement, financial cooperation, cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as sustainable development, sources said. Altogether four documents of cooperation will be signed after the meetings.

As annual meetings of the three vice-premier level mechanisms, all the meetings are held in China and Singapore in turn. They were held in Suzhou in eastern China's Jiangsu province last year.

China is now Singapore's No.1 trading partner while Singapore is China's largest investment source.

Statistics from the International Enterprise Singapore show that the two-way trade between China and Singapore grew to 95.8 billion US dollars in 2014, up from 2.8 billion dollars in 1990.