Wuxi seeks farming collaboration

National 2 minutes, 3 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Municipal Government of Wuxi is looking to collaborate with Brunei in rice farming.

This is to further extend the city’s agricultural development in other countries especially in the midst of the city’s rapid growth in urbanisation.

According to Wang Jinjian, deputy mayor of Wuxi Municipal People’s Government, the city has been cultivating a variety of hybrids for its rice farms but currently faces limited land for further development of its agricultural sector.

“We need to invest in other (ASEAN) countries for our rice cultivation as most of our land are now used for urbanisation and economic development sites,” he said in an interview with The Brunei Times recently.

“We welcome any Brunei companies or agencies looking to collaborate with us especially if they are looking for high yielding output in their rice agriculture,” he said.

Although he noted that the geographical location of Brunei is most likely ‘unfavourable’ for rice cultivation, he was optimistic that through collaborations with Chinese counterparts, such challenges can be overcome as the city usually farms and produces high yielding rice varieties.

“We can also be the middle person, if you would like, to connect you (Brunei) with our other partners to discuss ways of cooperation in (rice farming),” said Wang.

“For now, we need to learn more about one another to identify the areas where we can work best and establish a win-win cooperation.”

He went on to say that Wuxi city has a high economic development with its GDP among the top in China last year — a position which Brunei can benefit from.

He also said that Wuxi has business and commercial connections to ASEAN countries with investments in 160 projects totalling US$1.1 billion.

“Our trade with ASEAN countries amounted to US$8.6 billion, eight per cent of the total trade volume of the whole city last year,” he said, adding that total volume of such trade and investment is expected to increase each year.

“So this (rice farming with Brunei) is another field of cooperation and investment which we can look into to expand both Wuxi and Brunei’s agricultural and economic development,” said Wang.

Wuxi — located in the southern Jiangsu province — is known as a historical city with a population of 6.5 million, covering an area of nearly 5,000 square kilometres.

The city is also a major tourist destination for both natural sceneries and man-made creations. It received 85 million tourists last year, generating a revenue of 130 billion yuan.

The Brunei Times