SINGAPORE - Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan led the Future China Advanced Leaders' Programme to Shanghai, Chongqing and Chengdu from April 20 to 25.
During the trip, Mr Lee met his counterparts to discuss possible areas of cooperation between Singapore and the Chinese cities.
In Shanghai, Mr Lee met with Pudong Party Secretary Shen Xiaoming and Shanghai Vice Mayor Ai Baojun. VM Ai is also the Director of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone Administrative Committee. The leaders discussed ways to further deepen economic collaboration between both sides.
In Chongqing, Mr Lee met Executive Vice Mayor Weng Jieming and had an exchange on the opportunities for Singapore businesses in China's Western region, in particular the Liangjiang New Area.
Established in 2010, the Liangjiang New Area is a 1,200sq km national-level New Area, which is the first in Western China after Shanghai Pudong and Tianjin Binhai New Area.
Mr Lee also met Singapore companies based in Chongqing. The visit also allowed the delegation to better understand Chongqing's business environment.
In Chengdu, Mr Lee met Sichuan Governor Wei Hong, Vice Governor Gan Lin and Mayor Ge Honglin. The leaders discussed ways to strengthen economic ties and explore new areas of cooperation. Mr Lee also visited the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park, which was jointly developed by Singbridge, Sembcorp and the Chinese joint venture partner Chengdu Hi-Tech Investment Group.
During his visit, Mr Lee also officiated the opening of the Singapore Centre in Chengdu, which houses Singapore government agencies such as the Economic Development Board (EDB), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Noting the strong growth of Economic linkages between Singapore and the various Chinese Western cities in recent years. , Mr Lee said, "Singapore and China enjoy strong bilateral relations. Over the years, we have seen more Singapore companies venturing into the Western region of China as infrastructure matures and affluence rises. Economic progress in the western region presents many untapped opportunities for Singapore businesses. Singapore's engagement with the western region, through mechanism such as the Singapore-Sichuan Trade & Investment Committee, EDB and IE Singapore offices in Chengdu, Chongqing and Xi'an, have facilitated our companies' entry into the region. Vice versa, Chinese companies in the region have begun exploring establishing regional headquarters and listing possibilities in Singapore."
Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) Sam Tan, Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Social and Family Development) Low Yen Ling, government officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IE Singapore were also part of the delegation.