SINGAPORE, China and Singapore agreed to upgrade their free trade agreement (FTA) and make more joint efforts to facilitate connectivity. The consensus, along with agreements on boosting bilateral cooperation in innovation and other areas, was reached in talks here between visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Noting that China and Singapore have completed their FTA upgrading negotiations, Li said he hopes the two sides will seize the opportunity to lift two-way trade and investment to higher levels. The upgrade of the FTA will bring real benefits to the people and companies of the two countries and send a strong signal of further expanding trade and investment, Lee said.

The two sides also pledged to advance the building of the New Land-Sea Corridor, which consists of a number of cargo routes by land and sea connecting central and southwest China to Southeast Asia, so as to further improve connectivity between the two countries and beyond.

With the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the new logistics corridor, China and Singapore should build on the momentum and further boost two-way connectivity, Li said.

The Singaporean leader said his country will join hands with China to build the new corridor so as to facilitate transport and trade between the two sides.

Experts say the corridor will help China to further open up to the world while opening a shortcut for Southeast Asian countries to enter the Chinese market. Another substantial outcome of the visit, according to Li, is that China and Singapore have lifted the Guangzhou Knowledge City, an exemplary programme in bilateral cooperation, to a national-level project.

Lee said the Singaporean side is glad to see the upgrade of the project, and ready to step up smart-city cooperation with China.

Source: NAM News Network

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