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Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 20:45

China, S'pore to launch new joint project soon

By Xinhua

China, S'pore to launch new joint project soon
In this file photograph dated Oct 22, 2013, Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (left) shakes hands with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a visit to Istana presidential palace in Singapore. (AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHM AN)

SINGAPORE - China and Singapore held three annual meetings of bilateral cooperation here on Tuesday, agreeing to speed up the negotiations on a third intergovernmental project so that construction could start at an early date.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean co-chaired 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.

Describing the project under dicussion, which to be located in western China, as "a strategic cooperation project between the two countries," both sides hope that the cooperation would help vastly develop the western part of China.

China and Singapore currently have two flagship projects - the Suzhou Industrial Park in east China's Jiangsu province and the Tianjin Eco-city in north China's port city of Tianjin.

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

During the meeting, Zhang said the relations between China and Singapore had great opportunities to blossom as the two marked 25 years of diplomatic ties this year.

"The main task of the JCBC meeting today is to implement the consensus reached by the Chinese and Singaporean presidents at their meetings not long ago, comprehensively sum up the outcomes of cooperation and push forward new progresses of key projects," the vice premier said.

China, Singapore agree on new initiatives to boost internationalization of RMB

I nternationalization of RMB

New initiatives to further promote the international use of Renminbi (RMB) through Singapore were also agreed in the meeting, said Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday.

MAS said the existing cross-border RMB initiatives between Singapore and the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) and Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) will be expanded to the cities of Suzhou and Tianjin, which means that banks in Singapore will be able to lend RMB to corporates across Suzhou and Tianjin, and corporates in Suzhou and Tianjin will be able to issue RMB bonds in Singapore.

The expansion will give more financing options to Suzhou and Tianjin corporates as well as provide financial institutions and investors in Singapore additional avenues to deploy their growing RMB liquidity in Singapore.

MAS said corporates in Suzhou and Tianjin will be allowed to repatriate 100 percent of the proceeds raised from bonds issued in Singapore. This greater flexibility will provide a stronger incentive for corporates in Suzhou and Tianjin to raise RMB funds in Singapore.

Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam paid a week-long state visit to China from June 29 to July 4.

Also on Tuesday, Zhang and Teo presided over the 17th China- Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Suzhou Industrial Park and the eighth China-Singapore Joint Steering Council Meeting for the Tianjin Eco-city.

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

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

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