|Phu Quoc Island. Kien Giang emerged as an economic spotlight in the Mekong Delta in 2013, with an economic growth rate hitting 9.4 percent, ranking fourth among the 13 provinces and cities in the delta.— Photo phuquocsensetravel
SINGAPORE (VNS) — The opening of a new air route connecting Phu Quoc Island in southern Kien Giang province to Singapore will help improve bilateral relations between Viet Nam and its ASEAN neighbour.
Besides boosting trade, investment and tourism between Viet Nam and Singapore, the route will also speed up the island's development, said Nguyen Thanh Nghi, the Kien Giang People's Committee vice chairman.
At a workshop in Singapore last Tuesday, Nghi also said the route would promote and enhance the island's image in Singapore and other ASEAN countries and provide the impetus needed to convert the island into a tourism hub, marine city and special economic zone in the region.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Tran Van Hau said he hoped more new air routes would be launched in the future to further deepen bilateral relations, following the opening of four direct routes linking Singapore and Vietnamese localities.
Nguyen Tien Nam, head of Vietnam Airlines' branch in Singapore, said the route, to be officially launched on November 2 with two flights per week, would provide Vietnamese and Singaporean investors with new opportunities.
Leaders of both nations decided to upgrade relations to a strategic partnership in 2013, when trade and investment co-operation experienced impressive results, Hau said.
Bilateral trade surpassed US$15 billion in 2013 and $10.83 billion in the past eight months of 2014, representing a 22-per cent year-on-year increase. From January to August, Viet Nam's exports to Singapore maintained strong growth by hitting $2.05 billion, a 23-per cent year-on-year increase.
Singapore is Viet Nam's fourth largest foreign investor, with $1.07 billion or 9.6 per cent of the nation's total foreign direct investments in the past nine months of this year. —VNS