Pacts inked to boost eco-city infrastructure, services

27 February 2017 | Clinical Care and InnovationEducation 

​Mr Lee Ark Boon (seated left), CEO of IE Singapore, and Mr Liu Guiping, Vice-Mayor of Chongqing Municipal Government, sign a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the implementation of two commercial projects aimed at improving Chongqing's transport links to South-east Asia and Central Asia on Feb 27, 2017. Witnessing the signing are Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli. ST PHOTO: CHONG KOH PING

Singapore and China yesterday signed five pacts to cooperate on improving the infrastructure and services in Tianjin Eco-City.

These agreements cover areas such as water resources management, digital media, healthcare, research and development as well as the implementation of a "smart city"  masterplan.

The government-led eco-city project - referring to a 30 sq km freen township in the north-eastern port city - broke ground in 2008. Before it was developed, the site was a mix of saltpans, barren land and a large wastewater pond.

The two governments are collaborating to develop it into an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient city that can be used as a model for sustainable development in other Chinese cities.

Tianjin Eco-City  now has more than 70,000 residents and 4,500 registered companies with a total registered capital of 200 billion yuan ($40.9 billion).

Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong and Tianjin Mayor Wan Dongfeng witnessed the signing ceremony for four memorada of understanding (MOUs) and a strategic framework agreement at a hotel in Beijing yesterday evening.

"Under these new MOUs, Singapore agencies such as PUB, SingHealth and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise can share their expertise with Chinese officials to improve the eco-city's infrastructure and services," said Mr Wong.

"The professional exchange will enable healthcare professionals from Tianjin and Singapore to learn from one another and share best practices aimed at improving patient care and the healthcare delivery systems."

Singapore agencies can explore industry development opportunities in water management and smart-city planning in China through this cooperation, he said.

Research organisations from Singapore Universities can also gain access to research and development as well as commercialisation opportunities in the country via the eco-city, he added.

Associate Professor Chua Yeow Leng from SingHealth told the Straits Times that its MOU with the eco-city will help improve the training and development of healthcare professionals.

SingHealth will work closely with Tianjin Eco-City to provide a range of training programmes, symposiums and seminars, which will be held in Tianjin as well as Singapore in the next three to five years, said Prof Chua, who is the group director of the International Collaboration Office.

"The professional exchange will enable healthcare professionals from Tianjin and Singapore to learn from one another and share best practices aimed at improving patient care and the healthcare delivery systems," he added.

"More importantly, it will enhance both countries' capabilities to train strong pipelines of healthcare professionals to meet current and future needs."

By: Chong Koh Ping
Source: The Straits Times Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.



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