Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh meets with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan as part of Minh’s ongoing visit to Singapore. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Vịnh
SINGAPORE — Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shared their positive evaluation of the growth of the Việt Nam-Singapore strategic partnership during their talks in Singapore yesterday, as part of Minh’s ongoing visit to Singapore.
The two sides noted that along with close political relations, Việt Nam and Singapore had organised regular delegation exchanges channelled through the Party, State, parliament and people-to-people connections.
They agreed that Việt Nam and Singapore shared many common strategic interests and visions for security and development within each country, as well as with regard to important issues in the region.
The two sides will closely co-ordinate to fully and effectively implement high-level agreements, especially those reached during Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s visit to Singapore in April 2018. They will also continue to increase delegation exchanges, consultations, and experience-sharing on policy planning, thus maintaining strong growth and better exploiting opportunities to elevate bilateral ties.
Minh and Balakrishnan concurred that the potential for both sides to further enhance two-way trade is high, as the countries are members of both regional free trade agreements and the new generation of trade connection mechanisms such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Balakrishnan lauded Việt Nam’s proposal to increase the sales of Vietnamese farm produce such as rice, coffee pepper, and vegetables on the Singaporean market.
Minh said he highly valued Singapore’s role as a leading investor and trade partner of Việt Nam with over 2,000 projects worth US$43 billion, including nine Việt Nam -Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP).
Balakrishnan highlighted that Singapore had been investing in Việt Nam since the 1990s. He appreciated that Việt Nam had created optimal conditions for Singaporean firms to operate in the country, promptly solving obstacles and responding to their proposals.
The two sides also agreed to promote collaboration in education and training, labour, tourism, culture and people-to-people connections. Activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, including the Vietnamese culture and food day, have helped enhance mutual understanding of each other’s nations.
Minh and Balakrishnan pledged that the two sides will continue to work closely at regional and international forums, especially within ASEAN.
Minh said that Việt Nam highly valued the role of Singapore as the ASEAN Chair for 2018, vowing that it would support Singapore in implementing the targets set.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two sides agreed that ASEAN should firmly uphold the common standpoint and agreed principles, while continuing to include its views in its documents.
All parties should ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), including trust-building measures as well as regulations on restraint from actions that may complicate the situation or escalate disputes, they underlined.
Minh spoke highly of Singapore’s efforts to speed up negotiations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Minh and Balakrishnan signed a memorandum of understanding between the Vietnamese and Singaporean governments on operation principles of the Việt Nam-Singapore Co-operation Centre.
The current Việt Nam–Singapore Training Centre will be upgraded to the Việt Nam-Singapore Co-operation Centre. The deal will help create the legal framework for the expansion of its operations, from organising short-term training courses for the public sector to other areas such as approving development and urban planning solutions, development consultations and technical and vocational training. The centre will also help Việt Nam in food quarantine, agro-fisheries, cyber security and community development projects.
The same day, Minh paid a courtesy call to Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Minh, his spouse and the Vietnamese delegation also laid flowers at the President Hồ Chí Minh statue in the Asian Civilisations Museum. — VNS