Wuxi teams up with Singapore to build Sci-tech Innovation City
On May 5, the Wuxi Economic and Trade Delegation, led by the city’s mayor Zhao Jianjun, held a meeting on internationalization and cooperation of cities and signed 18 bilateral cooperation projects in Singapore during their first leg of the delegation’s three-nation tour to conduct exchanges on economic and trade. Wuxi Singapore Sci-tech Innovation City, one of the key projects signed at the meeting, will be a milestone in Wuxi’s further cooperation with the island country.
At the meeting, Zhao expressed his gratitude to people from all walks of life in Singapore for their concern and support for the development of Wuxi, briefly introduced the economic and social development of the city in recent years, and recalled the city’s three-decade cooperation with Singapore. He said that Singapore is a pearl on the main road connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans, while Wuxi is known as “the Pearl of Taihu Lake, and the abundant place in the south of Yangtze River Delta”. Over the past decades, the two sides have maintained close exchanges and cooperation, harvesting plentiful fruits in sci-tech, economy, trade, and culture.
In Wuxi’s history of international exchanges, Singapore has always stood out as a friendly, trustworthy and reliable partner.
In 1976, Lee Kuan Yew, then Singapore’s prime minister and the modern city state’s founding father, included Wuxi during his first visit to China.
In September 1992, Lee, then senior minister of Singapore, visited Wuxi with then Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Ong Teng Cheong. It was in this trip Lee decided to work with the local government to jointly invest and launch the first industrial park by Singapore in China at Wuxi.
In late 1993, Wuxi New District Development Group and a consortium of Singapore led by Sembcorp Group concluded an investment contract to jointly develop Wuxi Singapore Industrial Park, the country’s first industrial park in China.
Wuxi Singapore Industrial Park is the country’s first industrial park in China. Photo provided by the Wuxi municipal government.
In early 2020, Wuxi Singapore Industrial Park was rated as one of the first batch of international industrial cooperation parks by the Department of Commerce of Jiangsu Province.
Thanks to Wuxi’s strong industrial base and favorable investment environment, coupled with the international influence of Singapore’s partners, Wuxi Singapore Industrial Park has quickly become a hot spot for attracting international investment.
After nearly three decades of development, despite of its limited area of less than 4 square kilometers, the Singapore Industrial Park has gathered more than 100 high-tech manufacturing enterprises, becoming an industrial park with the highest internationalization, the most intensive high-tech industry, and the largest output per unit area among its peers in Wuxi, and built itself into a beautiful window to display the city’s achievements of reform and opening up. At present, the total industrial output value of the industrial park has exceeded 20 billion yuan per square kilometer.
In order to seize the rare window of opportunity for the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and leverage the brand effect and first-mover advantage of the Singapore Industrial Park as one of China’s first batch of provincial international cooperation parks, Singapore Sembcorp said at the meeting that it will continue to team up with Wuxi to expand investment in the city and upgrade the industrial park to Wuxi Singapore Sci-tech Innovation City.
The planned Sci-tech Innovation City, with an area of 50 square kilometers, will optimize and reorganize the overall space of the existing Wangzhuang Subdistrict, Wuxi Singapore Industrial Park and Comprehensive Bonded Zone to build four landmark industries of integrated circuits, intelligent equipment, biomedicine, renewable energy, and renewable energy vehicles; three characteristic industries of headquarters economy, sci-tech services, and e-commerce; and two futuristic industries of AI and 3G semiconductors. Finally, it will be forged into a first-class science and technology innovation city with great international influence, high-end industrial chains, characteristic functional areas, and modernized agreeable communities.
As of December 2022, Singapore has invested in more than 700 enterprises in Wuxi, with a cumulative investment of US$16.4 billion, 70% of which in the high-tech and service sectors.
As of February 2023, Wuxi enterprises have invested in 61 projects in Singapore, with an agreed investment amount of US$1.06 billion.
Last year, Wuxi’s imports and exports to Singapore hit US$4.12 billion, an increase of 11.1% year-on-year. Electromechanical products accounted for 87.7% of the total trade volume, with integrated circuits and electrical equipment accounting for 19.4% and 10.3% in this category, respectively.
Next, the Wuxi delegation will leave for South Korea and Japan to continue their communication and investment promotion campaign.