Premier Wen Jiabao Attends the Gala Dinner Hosted by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Delivers a Speech
On the evening of November 19, 2007, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council attended the gala dinner hosted by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) and delivered a speech.
Premier Wen first spoke highly of the rapid development of cooperation between the two countries in various fields and the remarkable achievements in economic and trade cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Singapore in 1990.
Wen said that the trade between the two countries is witnessing constant new progresses. Singapore is the largest trading partner of China among the ASEAN countries, while China is the second largest trading partner of Singapore. The two countries are highly complementary in trade area, therefore enjoying huge potentials for future cooperation. The goal of reaching the benchmark of USD50 billion in trade volume by 2010 will be fulfilled in advance.
Two-way investment between China and Singapore is prospering. Singapore's investment in China exceeded USD30 billion. Singapore is also one of the main destinations of China's investment. There were 130 Chinese-funded enterprises that went public in Singapore as of the end of September. The Singapore listed Chinese companies, which are being known to the investors in Singapore, are attracting more and more attention, according to Wen.
He particularly mentioned that the bilateral cooperation mechanism is being constantly innovated. Through 13-year cooperation and development, a group of important cooperation projects, including Suzhou Industrial Park, Wuxi Industrial Park and Dalian Container Port, have played a positive role in promoting the economic and trade cooperation between China and Singapore and in advancing China's economic development.
The cooperation between local regions is also booming. Singapore is an active participant in China's development strategies, such as the drive of developing western regions and the campaign of rejuvenating the old industrial base in northeastern regions, adding new content to the economic and trade cooperation between China and Singapore, according to Wen.
Wen pointed out that China is furthering the implementation of the scientific concept of development and committed to building a moderately prosperous society while Singapore is promoting the New Singapore strategy, therefore presenting a unique opportunity for bilateral cooperation and a bright prospect for future development. To this end, Wen raised the following points:
- To push forward the new flagship projects of economic and trade cooperation. China and Singapore are discussing the construction of eco-city through partnership, which is a project with far-reaching significance. The project should adopt the good practices of Singapore in urban construction, environmental protection, and water resources management based upon China's realities and become a new model for bilateral cooperation.
- To promote free bilateral trade. China, in the principle mutual benefits and friendly consultations, wishes to push the negotiations forward and let the people of the two countries enjoy the tangible benefits brought about by free trade areas.
- To deliver better services for the enterprises. The government agencies of the two countries should support and encourage the enterprises to conduct exchange and cooperation, hold investment and trade seminars, and build up a platform for the enterprises to jointly explore third-party markets.
- To expand cooperation in services. Singapore has an advanced modern service sector and is a leader in shipping, logistics, finance, environmental protection and tourism. China has a huge market and a rich talent base. The two countries enjoy great potentials for cooperation. We should take more active measures to deepen cooperation in the service sector so as so give full play to each other's advantages and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.
Wen said that developing the economic and trade relations would not only bring tangible benefits to the people but also propel the development and prosperity of the region. It is hoped that the people from all circles could work together, seize the opportunity and drive bilateral economic and trade cooperation to greater depth and width.
Mr Chua Thian Poh, President of the SCCCI, said in his address that the trade community of Singapore is confident in the development prospects of China and would like to strengthen exchange and cooperation with China.
Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore was also present at the gala dinner.