Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc attends the Việt Nam -Singapore Business Forum in Singapore on April 26.— VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
SINGAPORE — Việt Nam and Singapore need to work for bigger strides in economic, trade and investment cooperation.
That was the message from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on April 26 during an address to the Việt Nam -Singapore Business Forum.
Speaking to around 700 delegates from both countries, the PM highlighted the practical foundation for the bilateral collaboration, which was laid by late Singaporean PM Lee Kuan Yew who supported the construction of the first Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in the southern province of Bình Dương in 1992.
Singapore now has more than 2,000 projects with a total investment capital of over US$43 billion in Việt Nam, and two-way trade has reached nearly $8.5 billion, PM Phúc said, adding that up to 280,000 Singaporean tourists visited the country each year.
Việt Nam also has invested in nearly 100 projects valued at more than $200 million in Singapore.
The numbers reflect improvements in Việt Nam’s investment environment, he said, citing a report released by the World Bank at the end of last year which ranked Việt Nam’s business climate at the 68th position among 190 countries surveyed, up 30 places since 2010.
Việt Nam also claimed 55th place among 137 countries in the rankings of the World Economic Forum, the leader added.
PM Phúc noted that Việt Nam is scaling up efforts to improve growth quality towards higher productivity and innovations, utilising opportunities generated by the fourth industrial revolution and harmoniously combine the domestic and foreign-invested sectors.
He said the number of internet users in Việt Nam is 52 million or 54 per cent of its population, ranking fifth in Asia-Pacific.
Up to 55 per cent of people are using smartphones, and the rate is expected to reach 80 per cent by 2020, the highest rate in the region, the PM said, urging Singaporean firms to notice this potential trend.
Highlighting Việt Nam’s efforts to develop innovative start-ups, PM Phúc emphasised that the Vietnamese Government is committed to the best possible conditions for start-up initiatives and intellectual property (IP) rights protection within the framework of the the Law on Intellectual Property recently approved by the Vietnamese National Assembly, while fulfilling its commitments to protecting IP rights within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) to which Việt Nam is a signatory.
In that spirit, he called on Singaporean partners to continue to share their experience and achievements in start-ups with Việt Nam.
Speaking at the forum, President of the Singaporean Manufacturing Federation Douglas Foo said Việt Nam has become a destination of Asian manufacturers, thus opening up opportunities for Singaporean enterprises, especially those operating in civil electronics, garment-textile and food production, and logistics services.
Many Singaporean companies have invested in seaports, logistics, housing, and urban and industrial park projects in Việt Nam, Douglas Foo said, stressing that thanks to the support of the Vietnamese Government, seven VSIPs have been established, becoming a symbol of the economic links between the two countries.
He called on PM Phúc and the Vietnamese Government to continue to support Singaporean projects in Việt Nam.
Singaporean Minister for National Development and Finance Lawrence Wong suggested Việt Nam and Singapore cooperate in energy, oil and gas, and smart city building, along with digital economy. — VNS