Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met with Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob on Tuesday as part of his ongoing official visit to the country. – VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Vịnh
SINGAPORE – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met with Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday as part of his ongoing official visit to the country.
President Halimah Yacob noted with pleasure the positive development of the Việt Nam-Singapore relationship after the two countries established their bilateral diplomatic ties 45 years ago and the Strategic Partnership five years back.
She highlighted the effective co-operation in various areas between the two countries, especially in tourism and people-to-people exchange, citing nearly 300,000 Singaporean tourists to Việt Nam so far this year and more than 140 direct flights per week.
The leader thanked Việt Nam for its support for and close co-operation with Singapore in 2018 as the latter assumed the post of the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
As the ASEAN Chair, Singapore wishes to promote an ASEAN of unity, self-reliance and creativity, she said, adding that ASEAN should take the lead in grasping trends of the present era to serve development goals, narrow the development gap and effectively overcome security challenges.
Minh conveyed President Trần Đại Quang’s invitation to the President and her spouse to soon pay an official visit to Việt Nam.
He stressed that Singapore is always Việt Nam’s leading trade and investment partner, with two-way trade hitting US$8.6 billion and Singapore’s total investment capital in Việt Nam reaching US$43 billion in 2017, affirming that Việt Nam will continue to coordinate with Singaporean partners to maintain the pace.
At a meeting with Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong, Minh reiterated Việt Nam’s consistent policy of always attaching importance to the Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
He thanked Singapore for going along with Việt Nam in its development and integration, especially Singapore’s support in high-quality personnel training and its sharing of experience in macro management.
Minh described the success of nine Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Parks in Việt Nam as a symbol and model of the bilateral ties and suggested Singapore shift investment to the technology sector, thus matching trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In response, PM Lee Hsien Loong said Minh’s suggestion also matches Singapore’s investment trend. He recalled PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s visit to Singapore last April, during which the two sides agreed to step up cooperation in such new areas as smart urban and renewable energy and pushed to build a number of high-tech zones in Việt Nam in the time ahead.
Talking about regional and international cooperation, host and guest emphasised the need to ensure the principles of maintaining peace, stability, security and navigation and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, as well as handling disputes by peaceful measures and respecting international law.
They also consented to promote the common voice and the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional structure.
Minh spoke highly of the successes Singapore has reaped as the ASEAN Chair, as well as the sharing of viewpoints and common interests of the two sides on many strategic issues, including those on promoting free trade, and regional and international economic connectivity and integration.
Besides, the two sides have closely coordinated with each other in ratifying and bringing into effect the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to which both are signatories, he noted.
The Singaporean leader said the Vietnam-Singapore Strategic Partnership is one of the most effective and trustworthy relations as the two sides share many interests, both bilaterally and multilaterally. — VNS