SINGAPORE, Oct. 23 -- An increasing number of small and medium-sized firms from Singapore are investing in the services sector of Tianjin, a metropolis that sits on China's eastern coast, Singapore's National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Wednesday.
Co-chairing the 6th Singapore-Tianjin Economic and Trade Council meeting in Singapore with visiting Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo, Khaw said Singaporean companies invested a contractual amount of 789 million U.S. dollars in 22 projects in Tianjin in the first eight months of the year. The amount is comparable to the full-year total investment in 27 projects last year.
Over 80 percent of the projects this year were in services, said trade promotion agency International Enterprise of Singapore.
Khaw highlighted the potentials of Tianjin's services sector as the city of over 10 million people makes efforts to transform its economy and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth.
"We can share our experience in areas such as retail, healthcare and business services," he told officials and business leaders.
Huang said Singaporean enterprises have invested in an accumulated total of 800 hundred projects in Tianjin by the end of August this year, with the total investment amounting to over 6 billion U.S. dollars.
Singapore is now Tianjin's fourth largest source of foreign direct investment. The cooperation, which has been spurred partly by the China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, a government-to- government flagship cooperation project, covers ecology, trade and tourism, education, financial services, logistics and port operations and other modern services.
Firms from Singapore and Tianjin signed agreements on another 12 projects at the meeting on Wednesday, including six for the Tianjin Eco-City.
Many Singaporean services providers have been expanding into China as the world's largest developing economy grows its services sector in order to restructure its economy and have quality and sustainable growth.
The Suzhou Industrial Park, another flagship cooperation project between the governments of China and Singapore, is also trying to upgrade itself by pursuing opportunities in services sectors including financial services. It is also aspiring to export its experience and investment in other regions or even other economies.