01 May 2012

3 S'pore leaders touch base with China:

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday wrapped up his five-day trip to the northern Liao-ning province with a visit to Changxing Island, China's sixth-largest island which is being developed into an industrial and tourism area.

He attended the opening ceremony of Singapore shipping giant Pacific International Lines' (PIL) new project, which will be the first integrated ship recycling and repair centre of its kind in Asia.

The project, a joint venture with China's top steelmaker Angang and biggest shipbuilder Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co, has a total investment value of 3 billion yuan (US$475.8 million).

It meets the growing demand for facilities where ships can be scrapped in an eco-friendly way, said PIL managing director Teo Siong Seng.

The 1 million sq m facility can recycle an average of 80 vessels every year. And with the capacity to repair 90 ships of all kinds – including the world's largest – it can help ease the shortage of space in Asia serving mega vessels.

Gan was accompanied by representatives of 65 Singapore-based firms who interacted with local officials and learnt about the province's development.

“With this understanding, companies can now explore specific projects here in the near future,” he said.

Singapore firms can collaborate with Liao-ning partners in “a wide range of areas, including urban solutions, transport and logistics, and education”.

Another Singapore leader visiting China this week, Minister of State (Trade and Industry) Teo Ser Luck, met representatives from one of China's top three biggest iron and steel plants yesterday before flying home.

He met Wuhan Iron and Steel president Deng Qilin and witnessed the signing of a pact between the company and Singapore's EnGro Corporation.

EnGro is putting in an extra S$57 million (US$46 million) into a joint venture with the Wuhan firm to manufacture eco-friendly cement, a move that will make the Singapore company one of the largest producers of such cement in China.

On Wednesday, Teo took part in an urban development forum in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, to showcase Singapore's expertise in this area.

“I visited Wuhan in 2008. Coming back this time, what I see is Wuhan's rapid urbanization, changing from a heavy industry city to a hub known for its high-tech industries,” he said at the forum.

Also in China yesterday was Minister of State (National Development and Trade and Industry) Lee Yi Shyan, who arrived in Changchun and was briefed on developments in north-east Jilin province by vice-governor Chen Weigen.

Mr Lee will meet Jilin party leader Sun Zhengcai and visit the proposed Sino-Singapore food zone today.

Source: The Jakarta Post. 27 April 2012

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