TIANJIN: Singapore and China have made good progress in various areas of cooperation, such as the Tianjin Eco-City, Suzhou Industrial Park and the financial sector, top leaders of both countries said yesterday.
At their meeting in Tianjin, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Premier Wen Jiabao noted the rapid growth of the Tianjin Eco-City over the past few years.
The joint venture project, which aims to build an eco-friendly city for 350,000 residents, has been significant in demonstrating how sustainable economic development can be achieved in China, they said.
Mr Wen expressed hopes that Mr Goh would 'be able to see the fruits of the two countries' cooperation' during his trip to Tianjin, the official China Radio International reported.
They were speaking on the sidelines of the 30th annual meeting of the InterAction Council (IAC), an independent international organisation that counts more than 30 former heads of state or heads of government as its members.
The two leaders also noted that financial cooperation has become a 'new bright spot' in bilateral relations since it was discussed during their meeting in April last year, according to a statement by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It did not elaborate on what specific areas of financial cooperation were raised.
Mutual efforts in this area can 'boost trade and investment between the two countries', it said.
Looking ahead, there is still significant scope to expand bilateral cooperation. In particular, the two countries can continue to share their experience in managing development challenges.
A useful platform for such an exchange is the Singapore-China Forum on Leadership. The third such forum, led by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on the Singapore side and Mr Li Yuanchao, Minister of the Organisation Department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, on the Chinese side, was held in Beijing yesterday.
Mr Goh paid a joint courtesy call on Vice-President Xi Jinping, who is tipped to be China's next top leader, yesterday morning in Beijing, together with a select group of IAC members.
Mr Xi called on the IAC to 'continue to pay attention to key issues concerning the world's future development, as well as to support China's reform and opening up'.
This will 'promote mutual understanding, trust and cooperation between China and other nations', the official Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
This morning, Mr Goh is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on The Present State of the World at the opening plenary session of the ICA meeting. His visit ends tomorrow.