Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Singapore will boost economic connectivity and set new, creative directions for co-operation to keep pace with the ongoing technological revolution, the prime ministers of both countries agreed yesterday.
In talks held after a welcoming ceremony in Hà Nội hosted by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc for visting Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong, the two leaders also agreed to foster political trust and deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Political trust will be developed through regular exchange of high-level delegations and people-to-people contacts, which the premiers said would serve as an important foundation for partnerships in other fields.
They said the strong growth in bilateral economic, trade and investment ties was a firm pillar of the strategic partnership, highlighting the need for creating a favourable business environment and promoting business linkages.
Lee pledged that Singapore will assist Vietnamese firms in their bid to join the global market and supply chains, and consider establishing hi-tech industrial parks.
The premiers agreed on the potential for co-operation between the two countries in finance and transport, and Lee affirmed that Singapore would continue to help Việt Nam improve its financial services by encouraging Singaporean firms to engage strongly in the field.
Lee said Singapore would also continue assisting Việt Nam in personnel training, including Party officials, via technical collaboration under the Singapore Co-operation Programme.
Singapore will help Việt Nam develop smart cities, facilitate startups, especially in science-technology, capital access and management capacity, and encourage linkages with major Vietnamese cities including HCM City and Đà Nẵng.
The two PMs shared common perspectives on the value of peace, stability, security, safety and development in the region. The two countries should further strengthen security-defence co-operation via delegation exchanges, consultation mechanisms and bilateral and multilateral co-operation activities, they said.
They also expressed concern about rising terrorism and piracy in the region, and agreed to increase sharing of information and experiences in anti-terrorism activities, cyber security, maritime security and combating trans-national crimes.
The Singaporean PM declared that his country was willing to help Việt Nam improve the capacity of its law enforcement forces as also crime prevention and control.
The two leaders discussed measures to further bilateral partnerships in other fields like the environment, tourism, science-technology, information-communications, and justice.
They reached high consensus on the need to step up negotiations for a labour co-operation deal.
PM Lee stated that Singapore would provide more scholarships for Vietnamese youth under the frameworks of bilateral and ASEAN co-operation.
Mutual understanding between the two peoples was a firm foundation for close and strong ties, he said.
The two PMs also shared views on regional and international issues of mutual concern. They renewed commitments to accelerate trade liberalisation and participate in regional initiatives like the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
They said the two sides will continue working closely together and with other countries in seeking solutions for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
PM Lee also pledged to support Việt Nam in hosting the APEC Year 2017.
The two government leaders agreed to maintain bilateral consultations and co-operation with other ASEAN countries to build an ASEAN of solidarity and unity, dynamism and innovation, promoting the association’s central role in handling strategic regional issues, especially those to do with the East Sea.
They highlighted the importance of peace, stability, and maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea, as well as the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, with respect for diplomatic and legal processes, and without using or threatening to use force.
It was also important to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and to expedite the building and signing of a quality Code of Conduct framework.
Phúc appreciated the role of Singapore as the co-ordinator of ASEAN-China relations.
Following the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of several co-operation documents, including the handover of an approval letter from the State Bank of Việt Nam to Singapore’s United Overseas Bank to set up a branch in Việt Nam, and MoUs between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Sembcorp Group, between Đà Nẵng and the Sembcorp joint venture to develop a software park in Đà Nẵng, and another on building a Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Park in Quảng Trị.
Earlier the same day, Lee paid tribute to President Hồ Chí Minh at his mausoleum and laid a wreath at the Monument for Heroic Martyrs in Hà Nội.
Also yesterday, Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng spoke highly of the co-operation between the CPV and the People’s Action Party of Singapore while meeting Prime Minister Lee.
He expressed his hope that the two parties would continue to working closely through exchange visits and sharing of experiences.
Trọng expressed happiness with the productive and trustworthy co-operation between Việt Nam and Singapore.
He requested Singapore to step up the sharing experiences, support businesses in tapping co-operative potentials, promote people-to-people exchange, and collaborate well at regional and international forums, particularly within ASEAN.
The two countries should continue focusing on implementing elements of their strategic partnership agreement towards adding practical value to bilateral co-operation, he said.
He said he highly valued the Singaporean Government’s assistance in human resources training and development.
PM Lee briefed his host about the productive outcomes of talks he held with PM Phúc. He said the Singaporean Government always treasured the multi-dimensional co-operation with Việt Nam and looked to strengthen it.
Singapore also attaches importance to promoting its strategic partnership with Việt Nam and is willing to share experiences in its fields of strength, he said.
President Trần Đại Quang (right) receives visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. – VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
Measures to enhance bilateral economic, trade and investment ties were among key issues discussed by President Trần Đại Quang and visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
President Quang said Singapore has been a consistent leading economic, trade and investment partner for Việt Nam.
He said the bilateral Connectivity Framework Agreement has been implemented effectively, and Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) were being expanded in the northern and central regions of Việt Nam.
The solid political relationship enjoyed by both countries has helped step up economic ties as well as co-operation in defence, security, science-technology, education-training, and people-to-people exchange, he said.
Việt Nam is prioritising the production of high-quality agricultural products, he said, asking Singapore to facilitate access to the Singaporean market and, through Singapore, make inroads into markets in other countries.
He also hoped that the Singaporean Government will encourage the country’s businesses to invest in and expand hi-tech and food industry parks in Thanh Hóa Province and the software park in Đà Nẵng City while building another VSIP in Quảng Trị Province.
PM Lee, who is on an official visit to Việt Nam, noted with satisfaction the growing strategic partnership between the two countries, agreeing with the President that sound political relations have been a driving force for stronger economic, trade and investment links.
Singapore wants to work with Việt Nam to build hi-tech and software parks. It also hopes to promote co-operation in cyber security, he said.
Voicing his pleasure at Singapore’s effective investments in Việt Nam, he stressed that the island nation’s ministries and sectors were working hard to bolster connections with Việt Nam in agriculture and other key sectors.
Singapore is actively cooperating with Vietnamese suppliers to ensure Việt Nam’s agricultural products will qualify to entering this market, he said.
The two leaders agreed on the need for a region of peace, stability, security, safety and development, voicing concerns about increasing terrorism and piracy in the region.
PM Lee spoke of good co-ordination between the two countries within ASEAN and other multilateral mechanisms, as well as on the East Sea issue, free trade promotion, and new-generation free trade agreements like TPP and RCEP.
President Quang called for both sides to strengthen collaboration in security, defence and anti-terrorism activities, as also share information and experiences on fighting crime.
He asked Singapore to continue bringing into play its role as the co-ordinator of ASEAN-China relations, and to push for the finalisation and effective enforcement of a quality Code of Conduct (COC) for parties in the East Sea.
He echoed the Singaporean PM’s viewpoint on challenges facing ASEAN, adding that the bloc should intensify solidarity, co-operation and consensus to jointly resolve relevant challenges. He said he highly valued Singapore’s role in the region and the world and hoped that the two countries will boost co-ordination and consultation at regional and global events.
The Vietnamese leader took the opportunity to invite PM Lee to attend the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting slated for this November in Đà Nẵng City. PM Lee thanked the President and expressed his readiness to participate in the event.
Meeting with PM Lee yesterday, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân expressed her pleasure at the robust and effective development of bilateral ties.
She said the development has been fostered by the Party, State, National Assembly and other Government channels for many years.
She lauded the regular exchange of visits at all levels as also the co-operation between the two legislatures on bilateral and multilateral issues.
Both sides have facilitated visits by parliament leaders and members of specialised committees to strengthen political ties and mutual understanding and exchange professional experiences.
Noting that the 14th Vietnamese National Assembly established the Việt Nam-Singapore Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group in November 2016, she expressed her wish that a similar group is set up in Singapore to further strengthen legislative ties.
She said bilateral ties in trade, investment, national defence-security, culture, and people-to-people exchanges have thrived.
Most notably, the Việt Nam -Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) has become a symbol of successful mutually-beneficial co-operation between the two nations, she said.
Ngân said she was satisfied with the effective bilateral collaboration in education and tourism, noting that 12,000 Vietnamese nationals were living in Singapore, bolstering bilateral ties further.
She said the two countries should actively strengthen solidarity and exchanges on ASEAN co-ordination, promote the bloc’s central, proactive role in dealing with regional issues, contributing to creating an environment of peace, stability and co-operation.
The Singaporean PM informed Ngân about the outcomes of his talks with PM Phúc, mentioning the signing of co-operation agreements on electricity generation and the construction of additional VSIPs, among others.
He said believed that there was huge potential for economic co-operation between the two countries.
More exchanges between the two legislatures will continue to generate practical benefits, he added.
Later yesterday, a joint statement was issued to mark the March 21-24 visit to Việt Nam by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his spouse. – VNS