Alexius A. PEREIRA (National University of Singapore), Sino-Singaporean Joint Ventures: The Case of the Suzhou Industrial Park Project, English/32 pages, November 2002.
This paper examines the case of the Suzhou Industrial Park project, which was a joint venture between the China and Singapore governments. Both governments were hoping to mutually benefit from the project: the China government in developmental terms, the Singapore government in financial terms. The project was designed to make the Suzhou Industrial Park unique in China through the Singapore government's transfer of its industrial institutions to the China government. Hopes for a successful collaboration were not only based on the resource complementarity of the two governments, but also on the cultural affinity that the two governments believed that they shared. This paper finds that in the first few years of the joint venture, the project was highly successful as it was one of the fastest growing zones in China. However, with the advent of the Asian Financial Crisis and the increasing competition for investments within China after 1997, the collaboration became problematic, even though the project remained economically viable. This ultimately led the Singapore government to disengage from the project in 2001. This paper concludes that notions of cultural affinity could not resolve conflicts within the joint venture.