Singapore looks for high-speed rail bids

Updated 2017-09-20 10:01:02 China Daily
Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds a welcome ceremony for Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before their talks in Beijing, Sept 19, 2017.

Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds a welcome ceremony for Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before their talks in Beijing, Sept 19, 2017.

Chinese enterprises are welcome to participate in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said when he met with Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday.

China has advanced high-speed rail technologies to build safe and cost-effective railways, said Li, adding that he hopes Singapore can support Chinese enterprises' participation in the rail project.

The 360-km high-speed railway was announced in September 2010 to connect Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with Singapore. Three years later, Lee agreed to build the railway by 2020 with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.

Lee was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying that Singapore hopes to see Chinese offers in the international bidding scheduled for the next few months.

Lee started a three-day official visit to China on Tuesday and will travel to Xiamen, Fujian province, after his stop in Beijing.

In addition, Li said in the meeting that China would like to better align the Belt and Road Initiative with Singapore's development strategies as the city-state's biggest trading partner.

"The two nations have shown each other mutual respect and enhanced bilateral cooperation. ... I hope your visit will inject new momentum into China's relations with Singapore and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," the premier said.

Li said China is willing to promote the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and negotiations on the upgrading of the China-Singapore free trade agreement, in addition to expanding cooperation in fields such as financing, technologies and innovation.

Singaporean companies are welcome to invest in China, he said.

As coordinator of China-ASEAN relations and the ASEAN chairman next year, Singapore is expected to play a constructive role in making a higher-level partnership between China and the bloc, the premier added.

Lee said his country is willing to work with China to promote regional connectivity and cooperation in information technology, aviation and investment. Singapore also would like to accelerate the free-trade upgrade talks and advance the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, he said.

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