President Trần Đại Quang
HÀ NỘI — The visits to Brunei and Singapore by President Trần Đại Quang, which start today, aim to realise foreign policy goals set by the 12th Party Congress and deepen relations with the two ASEAN countries.
Việt Nam and Brunei established diplomatic ties on February 29, 1992. Since then, the two countries have regularly exchanged visits.
Bilateral economic, trade and investment co-operation has made big strides with two-way trade jumping from US$24.2 million in 2010 to $73.7 million in 2015. The figure hit $17 million as of June 2016.
Việt Nam mainly exports seafood and rice to Brunei while importing chemicals from the country.
As of June 2016, Brunei has 205 projects valued at more than $2.18 billion in Việt Nam, ranking 18th out of 116 countries and territories investing in the country and fourth among other ASEAN investors, behind Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Việt Nam has one project worth $650,000 in Brunei, specialising in metals and chemicals.
The two countries also hold potential for co-operation in fisheries, real estate and education-training.
The two sides inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on educational co-operation in April 2014. Apart from scholarships granted to Vietnamese students to study in Brunei, the country has also offered oil and English scholarships to Việt Nam.
The two sides have also signed a range of agreements and MoUs on tourism, aviation and trade.
Besides Brunei, Singapore will be one of the first countries President Trần Đại Quang visits after taking office. The three-day official visit will start from August 28.
"That President Quang has chosen to visit Singapore early in his Presidential term is testament to the strength and importance of our bilateral relations," said Foreign Minister of Singapore Vivian Balakrishnan in an interview with Vietnam News Agency.
Bilateral trade has grown steadily over the last decade, amounting to $21.6 billion with a 10.6 per cent increase year-on-year in 2015, he said.
"As Việt Nam’s economy scales up the value chain, Singapore companies continue to be interested in many opportunities in the country, including in high-tech innovation parks," the minister said.
Singapore is Việt Nam’s third largest investor, behind Japan and the Republic of Korea, with total investment of $36 billion, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Nguyễn Tiến Minh.
Singapore had capital and experience in economic development and nation-building while Việt Nam boasted an abundant labour force and rich natural resources, he said.
Working together, the two countries aim to access not only their respective markets but the ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN’s six partner countries and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreements at large, he noted. — VNS