President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday visited the Singapore-Nanjing Eco High-Tech Island, a mixed use commercial development supported by the Government.
On the island - a 15 sq km plot of land in the middle of the Yangtze River - he toured the newly completed exhibition hall and visited the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Forest Park, which is linked to the Games Village opposite the island via a pedestrian bridge.
Dr Tan is in Nanjing on a three-day visit at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the YOG opening ceremony on Saturday night. Both leaders also met that day.
The eco project is driven by Singapore property group Yanlord Land and Sembcorp Development, and supported by the official Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council. Upon completion in 2020, it is expected to draw $2.1 billion in investments, and create 100,000 new jobs.
It will house high-tech industries such as research and development, alongside tourist resorts and residential developments.
"This is a very important project for Nanjing… We wish to learn from the Singapore experience," said Nanjing leader Yang Weize.
He added that the Nanjing authorities will provide full support through pro-business measures to ensure the smooth progress of the project.
Yanlord chairman Zhong Shengjian said the island's emphasis on green technology and ecology - about half of the island will be devoted to parks and nature reserves - is its unique selling point.
After the island visit, Dr Tan briefly watched Team Singapore shuttler Bernard Ong in action in a men's singles group stage match. Ong lost 12-21, 11-21 to Seo Seungjae of South Korea.
The President, who returned to Singapore yesterday, will fly to Germany tomorrow to attend the fifth Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences.
This article was published on Aug 18 in The Straits Times.
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