Channel NewsAsia

Singapore companies expand presence in Tianjin

Eight new collaborations inked on Wednesday between Singapore and Tianjin companies.

TIANJIN: Singapore and Tianjin companies signed eight agreements for collaboration at the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) on Wednesday (July 30), further strengthening the Republic’s position to support and leverage on Tianjin’s rapid economic growth.

The deals – part of the 10 signed on Wednesday at the Singapore-Tianjin Economic and Trade Council (STETC) meeting – include one by Keppel Offshore and Marine to set up a design and service outsourcing centre in SSTEC, where music company Ocean Butterflies has also agreed to set up its regional headquarters.

These upcoming projects will follow the Chinese government’s ongoing efforts to shift Tianjin towards a market-driven economy while integrating the city with Beijing and Hebei province nearby to create a regional economic hub.

Singapore companies should tap the opportunities provided by these developments, said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan as he closed the STETC meeting.

“We can expect demand for better logistics support to facilitate transportation of goods, and expansion of railways and highways... Workers will have to be trained to meet new industrial demands for higher skills,” he said. “Above all, the emphasis on environment and green growth will mean more urban solutions to be implemented. These are traditional areas of strengths which Singapore companies can contribute to.”

Singapore has been growing its ties with Tianjin, with bilateral trade expanding by 34 per cent to US$2.9 billion (S$3.6 billion) in 2013 while Singapore’s cumulative investments into the city reached US$6.6 billion as of March this year, data by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore shows.

A key pillar to that partnership is the Eco-City project, which is developed by a Singapore-Chinese joint venture. The project has already crossed several important milestones since its inception in 2008, and the Eco-City is on track to meet targets such as provision of 100 per cent potable water from taps for both residential and commercial uses, Mr Khaw said on Wednesday.

To date, the Eco-City has attracted about 30 Singapore companies, IE Singapore told TODAY, adding to a growing Singapore business community across Tianjin that also includes companies such as CapitaLand, Hyflux, Tiong Seng and Yanlord.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia