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Singapore, Shandong strengthen economic cooperation
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Singapore and China's Shandong province set infrastructure, environment services and education as areas for future cooperation at the 13th Singapore-Shandong Business Council meeting held in Singapore on Thursday.

During the one-day meeting, three Singapore-based companies signed deals for business ventures in Shandong, according to a statement by IE Singapore, the country's business promotion agency.

Co-chaired by Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore's Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Cai Limin, Shandong Vice Governor, the meeting acknowledged the difficult global economic environment and how it would affect the businesses in Shandong and Singapore.

Lee said, "Shandong is the second largest economic province in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) in China, just after Guangdong and ahead of Jiangsu. Shandong will be a key province to implement part of the 4 trillion yuan stimulation package announced by the central government recently. Situated in the Bohai Rim region, Shandong serves as an effective gateway to the hinterland that China has placed priority to develop."

He encouraged Singapore firms to leverage on the Singapore- Shandong business council platform to pursue business opportunities in the province.

Singapore's leading water treatment firm Hyflux signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shandong's Linyi municipal government to cooperate in municipal water projects.

Singapore Cruise Center company and Qingdao City Construction Investment Group also signed a MOU to explore the possibilities of cooperation on the Qingdao Cruise Terminal operations and management project, while Singapore's food company Jollibean will partner with Soya China to open Jollibean specialty stores in Shandong province.

According to IE Singapore, Singapore firms have invested in 1, 187 projects amounting to US$3.09 billion in Shandong province by September this year.

(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2008)

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