Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and his Chinese counterpart Zhang Gaoli have reiterated the two countries’ commitment to deepening bilateral socio-economic cooperation during the former’s visit to China from July 27-31.

The Singapore Foreign Ministry’s July 28 statement said that the two leaders also discussed Vice Premier Zhang’s proposal for Singapore and China to embark on the third government-to-government project and China’s invitation to join in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The new project will be in a yet-to-be-decided site in the western region of China and will focus on urbanisation and modernisation.

According to “The Straits Times” daily, Singapore’s first government-to-government project with China was the Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province, which was set up in 1994, and the second, the Tianjin Eco-City, which broke ground in 2008.

The two joint ventures have grown more slowly than expected due to delay in building transport infrastructure.

Also in the meeting on July 28, Teo expressed Singapore’s intent to accept China’s invitation to be a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to meet the significant infrastructure needs in Asia.

Singapore media said that China will probably be the largest shareholder in the AIIB, with a stake of as much as 50 percent of the initial fund of 50 billion USD.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated that between 2010 and 2020, Asia will need to spend approximately 8 trillion USD on infrastructure to maintain current levels of economic growth.

Also on July 28, the two Deputy Prime Ministers attended the Singapore-China Forum on Social Governance, which was described by the two leaders as a useful platform for both countries to continue to exchange experiences on social governance issues.-VNA