|Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong
HA NOI (VNS)— Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will arrive in Ha Noi today for a three-day visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The PM's visit is part of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Before his trip, PM Lee granted the Vietnam News Agency's Singapore-based reporter an interview, during which he said Singapore and Viet Nam would elevate their relations to a Strategic Partnership during his official visit.
"Singapore and Viet Nam enjoy an excellent relationship. Our economic ties are prospering, trade and investmentflows are growing, and people-to-people ties are flourishing. We co-operate closely in ASEAN as well as in other regional and international fora," he said.
"It is timely to take our bilateral co-operation to the next level. I am happy that we will be elevating our relations to a Strategic Partnership during my visit," he said, adding that the Strategic Partnership was a framework to guide bilateral relations.
"It reflects our excellent friendship, and our shared commitment to expand co-operation into new areas such as finance, aviation, and the environment. The Strategic Partnership will inject fresh impetus to our relationship, and pave the way for even stronger relations between Singapore and Viet Nam," he said.
Lee said that during his visit, he and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung would also officiate the ground-breaking ceremony of the 5th Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Park in the central province of Quang Ngai. He will also look forward to exchanging views with PM Dung and other Vietnamese leaders on regional developments and other issues of mutual concern.
The Singaporean PM urged the two countries to continue to explore new partnerships which meet their evolving needs.
"We have done so with the Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Parks, which have progressed from industrial townships to integrated developments where people can ‘work, live and play'. We should also continue to strengthen our people-to-people ties, which are at the heart of every bilateral relationship," he said.
PM Lee said that he looked forward to more regular exchanges at all levels – between our leaders, businesses, and people, which he believed would help Singapore and Viet Nam deepen co-operation on the basis of mutual respect, trust and benefit.
"Singapore-Viet Nam relations fit within the larger context of our co-operation within ASEAN," he said, "As fellow ASEAN member states, Singapore and Viet Nam share an interest in a cohesive and integrated ASEAN. We are therefore participating actively in the ongoing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the RCEP is a possible pathway to our vision of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, one that will bring tremendous benefit to our businesses and people". — VNS