Visiting top legislator Wu Bangguo on Wednesday called for renewed joint efforts with Singapore to further strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries in various areas.
Wu, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, told a forum on bilateral economic and trade cooperation that China and Singapore should further broaden their cooperation so as to bring bilateral economic partnership to a new height by making two-way trade hit a record of US$50 billion in 2010.
Two-way trade between the two countries stood at US$26.6 billion in 2004 and Singapore's investment in China totaled US$25.54 billion. China is now the fourth largest trading partner of Singapore while Singapore is China's 7th largest trading partner.
China-Singapore relations have grown rapidly since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 15 years ago, with frequent exchanges of high-level visits, increasing mutual understanding and mutual trust, fruitful cooperation in the fields of the economy, trade, science, technology, education and personnel training, said Wu.
The mutually beneficial cooperation has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples and made positive contributions to regional peace and prosperity, he said, adding that China and Singapore share a "fervent desire" to strengthen and upgrade their mutually beneficial cooperation.
"Our two sides should seize the opportunities, act in the spirit of equality, mutual benefit, mutual complementarity, diversity in form and common development, and further broaden, diversify and enrich our cooperation, so as to move bilateral economic partnership to a new high by breaking the trade record of US$50 billion in 2010," he said.
Wu made a four-point proposal as part of the efforts to achieve the above-mentioned goal.
First, the foundation for bilateral trade and economic cooperation should be further consolidated so as to further tap its potential in the interest of future cooperation between the two countries, he said.
"We should do better with the existing joint cooperation projects, like the Suzhou Industrial Park, so as to give scope to their exemplary role," he said.
He called for making full use of cooperation mechanisms such as the Joint Committee of Bilateral Cooperation, strengthening communication and coordination and properly handling problems in bilateral economic relations so as to promote a sound development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Secondly, full scope should be given to the vital role of the enterprises in trade and economic cooperation, he said.
Singapore enterprises are welcome to take part in the development of China's western regions and the old industrial bases in Northeast China and other parts of the country while "competitive and creditworthy" Chinese enterprises are encouraged to engage in investment and trade cooperation of various forms in Singapore, Wu said.
Thirdly, new growth points for trade and economic cooperation should be vigorously explored, he said.
China and Singapore should "explore new horizons, open up new channels and nurture new growth points of economic cooperation, especially in the areas of high-tech, financing, capital market and service trade," he said, adding that China stands ready to work with Singapore in exploring market opportunities in the third countries.
Fourthly, efforts should be made to continue to improve bilateral coordination in multilateral economic cooperation, he said.
Strengthened multilateral cooperation is now an important vehicle for closer economic ties, converging interests and common development of all countries.
The two sides should step up their coordination in the multilateral economic cooperation, safeguard the equal rights and common interests of all participating parties and move ahead the multilateral cooperation mechanisms toward greater depth and scope, Wu said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2005)