The idea for establishing a bird park in Singapore was proposed in 1968 by Dr. Goh Keng Swee, then Minister for Finance, after he had visited the aviary at the Rio de Janeiro Zoo when he was in Brazil to attend a World Bank meeting a year before. Dr. Goh wanted the bird park to be a place in the industrial area of Jurong where people could visit to appreciate nature. Construction work on the bird park began in 1969 on a site near the western slope of Jurong Hill (also known as Bukit Peropok) and was completed in late 1970 at a cost of $3.5 million. The project was developed by the Jurong Town Corporation, a statutory board established in 1968 to develop and manage the Jurong Industrial Estate, in consultation with experts from the London Zoological Gardens. Officially opened in January 1971, the Jurong BirdPark has grown to become one of the largest parks of its kind in the world.