Green Development: Singapore & China bilateral cooperation agreements

Published 2021/12/30

Singapore and China reached 14 deals at Wednesday’s (Dec 29, 2021) Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting, the biggest haul in recent years from this high-level platform set up in 2004.

Among them are these agreements:


Singapore’s Ministry of National Development (MND) and China’s state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to continue sharing knowledge and experience on urban governance, planning and management.

There will be visiting fellowship programmes for senior officials and promising young officials, study visits, joint research and publications and platforms to exchange knowledge.

Another similar MOU was inked between MND and the Development Research Centre of the State Council to extend an existing deal to exchange knowledge in urban governance, sustainability, liveability and digitalisation.

A new programme, the Young Leaders Fellowship Programme, will be launched under this new agreement.


Singapore’s Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment will work on a joint paper that will chart how they can collaborate on green and low-carbon development. This includes plastic and e-waste management and low-carbon technologies.


Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) will help turn Tianjin Eco-city into a “garden city” with more greenery-related infrastructure, such as a green belt that is a linear park, and park connectors. (See more below)


Singapore’s NParks and China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration, which have been collaborating on conservation issues, including illegal wildlife trade, have agreed to expand their cooperation to other areas such as biodiversity conservation and the management of parks and greenery.

These could come in the form of joint projects, workshops and training.


Singapore’s Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism will embark on the ninth edition of their executive programme that allows for cultural exchanges, including in the arts, research and heritage conservation.


Singapore Customs and its Chinese counterpart will set up a system using blockchain to exchange trade and Customs-related information. For instance, Customs clearance and logistics status information for containerised trade between the two countries will be available to traders and logistics companies, and help them manage their supply chains better.


The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore and China’s State Administration for Market Regulation will set up a cooperation framework for exchanging information, sharing experience and developing competition policies and law in both countries and the region.


Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority and China’s Maritime Safety Administration have agreed to expand their cooperation on electronic certificates, which will now cover not just ships but seafarers too. This will help speed up port clearance at ports in either country.


Suzhou Industrial Park and JTC Corporation will set up an innovation hub at one-north business park to tap the research institutes and start-ups there. The aim is to support Singapore and Chinese companies as they expand into each other’s markets and the region.


The NUS Guangzhou Research Translation and Innovation Institute will be set up in Guangzhou. It will plug into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, which the Chinese government envisions as an economic powerhouse linking cities in the south.

The institute aims to train more than 3,200 PhD and master’s students, post-doctoral fellows and professionals from China in the next decade.

SOURCE: The Straits Times, 29 Dec 2021.

Green belts and connected parks planned for Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City

Singapore and China have agreed to deepen cooperation to make the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City greener and more sustainable, said Singapore’s Ministry of National Development (MND) on Wednesday (Dec 29, 2021).

National Development Minister Desmond Lee announced during the 13th Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Joint Steering Council Meeting on Wednesday that the National Parks Board of Singapore (NParks) and the Tianjin Eco-City Administrative Committee of China have signed a memorandum of understanding on a collaboration to enhance the Eco-City.

  • Click on VIDEO (below) to go inside the Tianjin Eco-City to see how this bilateral project between China and Singapore has transformed over the past decade. Home to thousands of families and businesses, it’s now setting new standards for modern living in China and beyond.


There are plans to further weave greenery into the built environment and bring nature closer to the Eco-City’s residents and visitors, MND said in a media release.

There will also be programmes to promote awareness of the benefits of greenery and nurture community stewardship of the city’s natural environment.

Under the MOU, both sides will jointly plan, design and develop features such as a 27-hectare green belt, 18km of park connectors connecting the city’s green spaces, as well as pocket parks at street corners in the central area of the Eco-City.

Mr Lee said that the collaboration was established 13 years ago with the vision of making the Eco-City “a replicable model for sustainable development for cities”.

The number of people living or working in the Eco-City has grown from 20,000 in 2014 to more than 120,000 today.

“Over the years, it has successfully transformed from a barren land to a thriving eco-city. The Eco-City’s experience is now even more relevant given the global commitment to reduce carbon emissions, including our launch of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and China’s plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

“In the next phase of the Eco-City’s development, we will aim higher and elevate the Eco-City into a greener, smarter and more sustainable city,” he said.

Mr Lee said that “good progress” has been made by both nations in the Eco-City project.

“At a time where there were no precedents or established standards for the management of polluted water bodies in China, we rehabilitated a former wastewater pond to become what we now call Jing Lake, right at the heart of the city,” he said.

The Eco-City’s success at Jing Lake has been replicated in other areas in China, MND said.

The city’s environmental rehabilitation initiatives have been a “critical step” to developing networks of inter-connected water and greenery systems, Mr Lee said.

“We now see residents enjoying beautiful and clean rivers, lush greenery and an extensive network of parks and open spaces.

“With this MOU, we will continue to push boundaries to further enhance the integration of nature with the built environment and create a distinctive Eco-City.”

Smart and low carbon development

Singapore and China will also expand their efforts in the smart and low carbon development of the Eco-City.

In Keppel Land’s residential developments in the Eco-City, smart technology applications in homes and estates could, for instance, allow elderly or disabled residents to indicate their needs and connect them with community volunteers.

The real estate company has also opened a smart and low-carbon mall featuring a cloud-based service platform, energy saving technology and photovoltaics and a solar hot water system to harness solar energy.

Keppel Land will also scale up the use of smart technologies in a precinct of the Eco-City’s northern district.

“Singapore and China’s innovations and new ideas in the Eco-City will continue to be shared and scaled jointly,” MND said in its statement.

“Both countries will continue to work together to realise our vision of the Eco-City as a green, smart and sustainable Eco-City in the next bound of development.”

SOURCE: Channel News Asia, 29 Dec 2021.