The ceremony was attended by Việt Nam's Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng (left), Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam Acting President Dr Phạm Lan Dung (centre) and Singaporean Ambassador to Việt Nam, Jaya Ratnam (right). Photo courtesy of the Singaporean Embassy in Hà Nội
HÀ NỘI — The Singaporean embassy in Hà Nội hosted a reception on Tuesday, commemorating both the 20th Anniversary of the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Establishment of the Việt Nam – Singapore Training Centre and the 20,000th Vietnamese Participant in the Singapore Cooperation Programme.
In November 2000, then-Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong launched the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) framework with the aim of helping to integrate the newer ASEAN member states of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Việt Nam. The MOU on the Establishment of the Việt Nam – Singapore Training Centre was signed between Singapore and Việt Nam on November 28, 2001, under the auspices of the IAI framework.
In his remarks, Singaporean Ambassador to Việt Nam, Jaya Ratnam, lauded the event as a clear testament to the strong and enduring partnership between Singapore and Việt Nam. He highlighted that the recurring theme in Singapore’s and Việt Nam’s excellent bilateral ties has been their longstanding partnership in human resource development.
Ratnam reiterated Singapore continued strong commitment to supporting Việt Nam’s development and noted that they had focused on new capacity-building programmes such as entrepreneurship, digital transformation and cyber security, to be better aligned with Việt Nam’s needs, priorities and aspirations.
The Việt Nam – Singapore Cooperation Centre has been upgraded with video-conferencing equipment to facilitate online courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, notwithstanding the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the enrolment numbers for courses remain high, and the online platforms have allowed for more engagement with officials from a wider range of cities and provinces.
In the fiscal year 2020, the centre conducted 16 online courses for more than 260 Vietnamese participants on a range of programmes and is expected to train more than 400 participants in 20 online courses in the fiscal year 2021.
Addressing the event, Việt Nam's Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng cited the centre as “a perfect example of Việt Nam – Singapore cooperative relations” that has made important and practical contributions to help Việt Nam’s public administrative system in its regional and international integration process over the past decades.
The Deputy FM said he looked forward to more capacity-building support from Singapore, as Việt Nam seeks to meet its changing needs and adapt to regional and global complexities in the second decade of the 21st century, with a special focus on building up Việt Nam’s development needs as countries recover from the impact of COVID-19.
At the event, Ratnam presented to Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam Acting President Dr Phạm Lan Dung a contribution of a compendium of books and journals from Singapore Universities, the Singapore National Library Board, Yusof-Ishak Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy for the Academy’s newly renovated Library building. VNS