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Vietnamese and Singaporean PMs hold talks, witness signing of seven important documents

VIETNAM, August 28 -  

HÀ NỘI — Singapore has become the largest investor in Việt Nam in the first eight months of this year with newly registered capital of more than US$3.6 billion, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong said during their talks in Hà Nội on Monday.

After PM Chính hosted an official welcome ceremony for the Singaporean guest in the morning, the two sides held talks during which they expressed optimism over the rapidly developing relationship between the two countries, saying that “it has never been as good and comprehensive as it is now”.

Important cooperation agreements, including the results achieved during PM Chính’s visit to Singapore in February 2023, have been actively implemented, they said.

PM Chính emphasised the significance of PM Lee’s visit in the context of the two countries celebrating 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations (1973-2023) and 10 years of establishing strategic partnership relationship (2013-2023).

He believed that the visit would contribute to further promoting the strong relationship between the two countries.

Chính congratulated Singapore on economic recovery and development while expressing confidence that Singapore will soon achieve the goal of Green Plan 2030, develop a harmonious and increasingly prosperous society, contributing to building a strong, united and resilient ASEAN Community.

PM Lee Hsien Loong thanked the Vietnamese leader for the respectful and warm welcome, saying that he highly appreciates Việt Nam's great achievements of post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery and development.

PM Lee expressed satisfaction with the development of Việt Nam-Singapore relations and highlighted that Việt Nam is Singapore’s important regional strategic partner.

The two leaders agreed to consider upgrading the bilateral relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the near future.

They agreed to continue increasing visits at the Party, Government and Parliament levels and hold an annual meeting between the Prime Ministers to discuss bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual concern.

They also vowed to effectively implement high-level agreements and cooperation mechanisms between the two countries, and coordinate to organise the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of forming the strategic partnership relationship in 2023, including the event “Spotlight Singapore in Việt Nam” in October.

The two Prime Ministers emphasised the need to strengthen the green and digital economy partnership established in February 2023.

During their talks, PM Chính and PM Lee spoke highly of the upgrade of the framework agreement on connecting the two economies, which helps expand and deepen economic connectivity in new fields such as clean energy, energy transformation and innovation.

PM Chính requested Singapore create conditions to import more Vietnamese products, develop and convert traditional Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) into smart, green, low-carbon industrial parks towards the development of an urban-industrial ecosystem.

PM Chính also hoped that Singapore would expand investment in key areas and priority groups of Việt Nam, such as the electronics industry, smart manufacturing industry, information technology, digital technology, new materials, as well as assist Việt Nam in developing supporting industries for textiles, furniture processing, shipbuilding, industrial infrastructure development, chemicals, petrochemicals, and liquefied natural gas.

The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in defence and security by promoting the signing and effective implementation of relevant cooperation agreements.

Chính asked Singapore to help Việt Nam build and operate a large database centre to improve its effectiveness in fighting against crime, especially hi-tech crimes.

He proposed the two sides soon promote the connection between the Vietnamese system and Singapore’s electronic identification and authentication system to facilitate the two nations’ citizens in travelling, living and working.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Prime Minister asked Singapore to continue to support and create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Singapore.

The two Prime Ministers agreed to continue promoting cooperation in education, training, finance and banking, tourism and culture.

Chính proposed opening new flight routes and expanding the connection of destinations for cruise ships.

The two sides highly appreciated each other’s support in elections and candidacy for UN agencies and active coordination with other ASEAN countries.

They spoke highly of each other in ensuring solidarity, unity and together with other ASEAN countries maintaining ASEAN's common stance on the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issues.

Both emphasised the importance of freedom and safety of navigation and overflight; ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); creating a favourable environment, striving to develop a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

After their talks, the Vietnamese and Singaporean Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of seven cooperation agreements.

The two ministries of foreign affairs signed an agreement on a research programme and thematic research programme for senior officials of the Communist Party of Việt Nam from 2024 to 2026.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry signed a letter of exchange on upgrading the framework agreement on connecting the two economies.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Singapore – Việt Nam Innovation Talent Exchange Programme.

A Memorandum of Understanding in the employment and skills development between the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower was also inked.

Other cooperation documents signed included the letter of intent on continuing to implement the Memorandum of Understanding under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement between the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry; Memorandum of Understanding on education cooperation between the two ministries of education and training; Memorandum of Understanding on promoting sustainable infrastructure development in HCM City between HCM City People's Committee and Infrastructure Asia. — VNS