SM Goh suggests Tianjin Eco-City be turned into financial hub

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has suggested that the China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City can be turned into a sub-regional financial hub within China’s northeastern region.

Mr Goh made the suggestion during a meeting in Tianjin with the city’s Party Secretary Zhang Gaoli on Thursday evening.

He said the flagship project between China and Singapore can also serve as a hub for training skilled workers, technicians and engineers.

It can also be a base for research and development for environment-related issues such as waste water recycling.

Mr Goh said that apart from being a pleasant residential township, the eco-city must also have vibrant economic activities and produce results in three to five years.

He hoped that the Tianjin Eco-city can be a catalyst not just for Tianjin, but also for the greater Bohai region.

Turning to what he called the sudden mushrooming of eco-cities in China, Mr Goh said even though the growth of such eco-cities is good for China, it is important for Tianjin to distinguish itself from its counterparts.

One way to do so is in the software of running the city, and in the mindsets of its residents.

Hoping that the city can emerge as a model city, Mr Goh added that Tianjin was chosen over other areas such as Guangdong and Huangshan.

Mr Goh also hoped to see three harmonies in the park – the harmony between people and people, between people and the economy, and between people and the environment.

Earlier in Beijing, China’s Central Organization Department Minister Li Yuanchao told Mr Goh that China’s cooperation with Singapore is much deeper than other countries.

And this can be seen in how quickly the idea of the Eco-city had taken root and materialised.

Mr Li said it will serve as a developmental model for, and spur further growth in China.

First mooted by Mr Goh to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in April 2007, the Tianjin Eco-city is the next flagship bilateral project between Singapore and China after the Suzhou Industrial Park.

Both Mr Goh and Mr Wen will jointly officiate at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Tianjin Eco-city on Sunday.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 25 Sep 2008

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