|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh (right) and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan signed an agreement on research programmes for senior Vietnamese Party officials for 2017-19 yesterday as part of the Singaporean minister’s official visit to Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Khang|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam and Singapore have agreed to work together to seek new directions for co-operation in order to optimise the opportunities and benefits brought about by free trade agreements and the ASEAN Economic Community.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan reached the agreement during their talks in Hà Nội yesterday as part of the Singaporean minister’s official visit to Việt Nam.
The two officials both pledged to optimise existing cooperation mechanisms, such as the Economic Connectivity Ministerial Meeting, the deputy ministerial-level Defence Policy Dialogue, the deputy ministerial-level Political Consultation and the training programme for Vietnamese law enforcement officers.
The two ministers also signed an agreement on research programmes for senior Vietnamese Party officials for 2017-19.
Host and guest shared the view that economic and trade links remain a bright spot in the bilateral relationship.
Deputy PM Minh celebrated Singapore’s role as a leading trade and investment partner for many consecutive years. Two-way trade reached US$9.3 billion in 2015 and Singaporean investment in Việt Nam totaled almost $38 billion as of June 2016.
Minister Balakrishnan affirmed that Singapore wishes to step up its intensive and pragmatic collaboration with Việt Nam across fields for the sake of the two countries’ people, as well as for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The minister expressed delight in seeing the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) grow into a symbol of economic co-operation between the two countries through its 20 years of operation in Việt Nam.
He emphasised Singaporean investors’ commitments to Việt Nam and their confidence in the country’s economic stability and development.
The two sides also appreciated the results-oriented partnership between the two countries in national defence and security, including areas in anti-terrorism, cyber and maritime security, and submarine rescue operations.
Singapore pledged to help Vietnamese law enforcement forces improve their capacity in combating crime, particularly terrorist and high-tech attacks.
Balakrishnan promised to encourage Singapore’s famously competent agencies to work with the Vietnamese side on a labour co-operation agreement.
The two officials also compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern, pledging to continue the two countries’ coordination and mutual support at regional and global forums, especially ASEAN and the UN.
Deputy PM Minh appreciated Singapore’s consistent stance on the East Sea issue as well as the country’s role and tangible contributions as the coordinator for ASEAN-China relations for 2015-18.
They affirmed ASEAN’s common stance on the settlement of disputes in the East Sea and committed to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of maritime and aviation in the sea.
They called on relevant parties to exercise self-restraint, not use or threaten to use force, fully respect diplomatic and legal procedures, settle disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS). They also pledged to support the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and quickly reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). — VNS