Viet Nam News
The values of meritocracy, multiracialism, integrity and incorruptibility guide Singapore’s growth, Ambassador Catherine Wong says in a message on the occasion of the nation’s National Day.
Our National Day on 9 August is of special significance to every Singaporean. It is an occasion when we celebrate our achievements as a young nation while charting our course towards a shared and brighter future.
Since our independence in 1965, Singapore’s survival and development was made possible through human endeavour, rooted in our core values of meritocracy, multiracialism, integrity and incorruptibility.
Even as we celebrate our achievements over the past 52 years, we are continuously trying to reinvent ourselves to remain relevant. Today, nations around the world are facing increasing domestic and global uncertainties. Singapore too has our own set of challenges to overcome. As envisioned in this year’s National Day theme “#OneNationTogether”, it is imperative that we do not allow our diversity to divide us in trying times but instead, rally Singaporeans to harness our diversity to overcome the odds as one.
As a small country in an increasingly integrated world, Singapore highly values the ties we have with countries around the world. Within the region, we enjoy good relations and strong co-operation with our fellow ASEAN countries. Indeed, the stable and conducive environment within ASEAN has provided the foundation for Singapore’s growth and development. The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 was a significant milestone that serves to strengthen ASEAN’s role as a major economic region. We should work hand-in-hand to maintain a cohesive, strong and autonomous ASEAN, so that the region can continue to prosper.
Within ASEAN, Việt Nam is a close friend and partner. Bilateral relations were elevated to a Strategic Partnership in 2013. Our leaders meet each other frequently to reaffirm our excellent relations and to explore new areas for cooperation. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made an official visit to Việt Nam in March, followed by visits by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Community, Culture and Youth Grace Fu and Minister for Environment and the Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.
An aerial view of the Gardens by the Bay, a 101 hectares horticultural destination located in central Singapore.—Photo by Helmut Ignat
Prime Minister Lee will also visit Việt Nam again in November to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Đà Nẵng.
From Việt Nam, President Trần Đại Quang made a State visit to Singapore last year and we hosted the official visit by Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình last month. We look forward to welcoming more Vietnamese leaders in Singapore.
Economic cooperation continues to be one of the brightest spots in Singapore-Việt Nam relations. Singapore is the 3rd largest investor in Việt Nam with cumulative investments of over US$ 40 billion. Aside from the real estate sector which accounts for approximately 30 per cent of Singapore’s overall investment in Việt Nam, the seven Việt Nam - Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) have also attracted billions in foreign investment and created many jobs for the Vietnamese people. There are increasingly more Singapore SMEs starting to do business in Việt Nam, an indication of their confidence in Việt Nam’s economic potential.
Aside from the traditional sectors, Singapore companies are also venturing into newer areas of investments, such as in the high-tech, banking and healthcare sectors. Both Singapore and Việt Nam are dedicated towards promoting liberal trade and a free market. With Việt Nam already one of the leading investment destinations for Singapore, I have every confidence that our investments in Việt Nam will only continue to grow.
Apart from the excellent economic ties, extensive educational exchanges and close people-to-people ties between Singapore and Việt Nam are also hallmarks of our bilateral relations. Various scholarships are awarded to promising Vietnamese students to further their studies in Singapore. The Singapore Co-operation Programme, which provides training courses to foreign officials, has benefitted over 17,000 Vietnamese officials to date. Community projects by Singaporean individuals and organisations bring the people of Singapore and Việt Nam closer, facilitating a better understanding of each other’s culture and lifestyles. Many Singaporeans have lived and worked in Việt Nam for many years, and have become “bridges” between our two countries and peoples as they promote a better understanding of Singapore amongst the Vietnamese people.
As we celebrate Singapore’s 52nd birthday, we look forward to furthering our close ties with our Vietnamese friends and strengthening co-operation at bilateral, regional and international levels. — VNS