Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong held talks on February 25, agreeing to bolster cooperation in all fields.
|President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the city state on February 25 (Photo: VNA)|
Welcoming the Vietnamese delegation, PM Lee said the good outcomes of their State visit to Singapore and the significant cooperation achievements in the recent past will create a new impulse for the two countries’ strategic partnership.
President Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always treasures and highly prioritises the unceasing reinforcement and development of its strategic partnership with Singapore.
Both host and guest expressed their delight at the increasingly substantive and effective partnership in all fields, noting that political and diplomatic cooperation has become stronger and more fruitful while economic ties are now a bright spot in the region.
Despite adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade still reached 8.3 billion USD in 2021, up 23.3 percent from the previous year. Singapore now ranks first among ASEAN countries and second among the 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with its total registered FDI standing at 66 billion USD. The Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) model has become a symbol of successful cooperation between the two countries.
Cooperation in other important aspects like defence – security, culture, education, tourism, and people-to-people exchange have also continued growing well, according to the leaders.
Discussing major orientations for bilateral relations, they agreed to resume all-level mutual visits and meetings soon; step up security – defence collaboration; effectively implement bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the ministerial meeting on economic connectivity; and promote the key cooperation areas under the bilateral Connectivity Framework Agreement, including investment, finance, ICT, education and training, transport, trade, and services.
President Phuc and PM Lee also agreed to expand ties in innovation, digital transformation, digital economy, and green and sustainable development so as to elevate the Vietnam -Singapore economic connectivity to a digital-based one. Besides, the two countries will work together to develop VSIPs into hi-tech, smart, and environmentally friendly industrial parks, and to capitalise on benefits from the new-generation free trade agreements to which both are parties such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Applauding bilateral cooperation in COVID-19 combat, the leaders hailed their countries’ mutual recognition of each other’s vaccination certificates, which will facilitate bilateral travel and trading and greatly contribute to each side’ post-pandemic recovery and development.
They noted with satisfaction their countries’ effective coordination at regional and international forums, concurring in the continued coordination to help maintain ASEAN’s solidarity and centrality. Both sides also showed their support for the bloc’s active role in assisting Myanmar to surmount the current crisis and promoting the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus reached at the ASEAN leaders’ meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, in April 2021.
They also affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; not using or threatening to use force; peacefully solving disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); and negotiating to reach a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters that matches international law, including the UNCLOS.
On this occasion, President Phuc conveyed PM Pham Minh Chinh’s invitation to visit Vietnam to PM Lee.
Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of five cooperation documents on defence, economy – trade, intellectual property, digital economy, and people-to-people ties signed by the countries’ government agencies. The deals are expected to create an important framework helping strengthen the Vietnam – Singapore strategic partnership.
State President meets with Singaporean leaders
On February 25 morning, an official welcome was held at the Istana in Singapore for President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is paying a State visit to the island. After the ceremony, the Vietnamese leader held meetings with Singaporean leaders.
After the welcome ceremony, President Phuc joined talks with his host President Halimah Yacob.
At the meeting, Yacob emphasised the significance of Phuc’s visit. She expressed her belief that the visit will contribute to raising the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership to a new high.
For his part, Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always wishes to boost the bilateral strategic partnership practically and effectively.
The two leaders to soon resume all-level delegation exchanges, maintain bilateral cooperation mechanisms to remove difficulties, and beef up cooperation in specific spheres.
After the meeting with President Yacob, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The two leaders expressed their delight at the Vietnam – Singapore strategic partnership, which is developing more and more substantively and effectively in all fields.
The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation in a wide range of fields, such as innovation, digital transformation, digital economy, green and sustainable development.
After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of five bilateral cooperation documents in the fields of defense, economy-trade, intellectual property, and business cooperation. digital economy and people-to-people exchanges.
Following the talks with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a meeting with Speaker of Singaporean Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin.
At the meeting, the two sides agreed to maintain and increase contact and exchange at all levels and channels, including the parliamentary channel, and at the same time, continue to promote the role of the two legislative bodies in promoting bilateral relations.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed his hope that Singapore’s Legislature would continue to support ASEAN’s common stance on preserving peace, stability, ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.
Also on February 25, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc received executives of some leading Singaporean groups.
Applauding contributions by Singaporean businesses to Vietnam’s economic development over the past time, Phuc said promoting investment attraction, particularly in clean energy and sustainable development, is a priority of Vietnam in the time to come.
Vietnam encourages Singaporean businesses to invest in infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, high-quality agriculture, IT, smart cities, financial services, and banking, he added.
Vietnamese, Singaporean leaders agree to foster cooperation across spheres
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with his host Singaporean counterpart Halimah Yacob on February 25 following a welcome ceremony earlier the same day.
At the meeting, Yacob emphasised the significance of Phuc’s visit, noting this is the first State visit to Singapore by a foreign leader after the COVID-19 broke out.
The host expressed her belief that the visit will contribute to raising the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership to a new high.
For his part, Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always wishes to boost the bilateral strategic partnership practically and effectively.
The leaders expressed their delight at the rapid and strong developments of the bilateral ties, especially after the establishment of the strategic partnership in 2013.
Mutual political trust has been consolidated and economic cooperation become a bright spot in the region, they said.
The two reached consensus on major cooperation orientations to mark the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties, and 10 years of the strategic partnership in 2023.
Accordingly, the two countries will soon resume all-level delegation exchanges, maintain bilateral cooperation mechanisms to remove difficulties, and beef up cooperation in specific spheres.
They will focus on boosting economic links and pay attention to cooperation in such areas as digital economy, digital transformation, innovation, high-quality human resources development, and green, sustainable growth.
On this occasion, the leaders welcomed the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates which facilitates travelling and trade of the two countries, and contributes to socio-economic recovery and development in each nation.
They also consented to foster partnerships in other fields like education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchange, as well as cooperation at regional and international forums.
President Phuc invited President Yacob and her spouse to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time. The Singaporean leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets Speaker of Singaporean Parliament
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc met Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore Tan Chuan-Jin on February 25 as part of his ongoing State visit to Singapore.
Speaker of the Parliament Tan expressed his delight at the fruitful outcomes of President Phuc’s talks and meeting with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and PM Lee Hsien Loong. He congratulated Vietnam on the socio-economic achievements that the country has recorded in recent times despite COVID-19 impacts.
President Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to promote the strategic partnership with Singapore.
He showed his pleasure with the two legislatures’ close cooperation over the years, with substantive results of the online talks between Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore Tan Chuan-Jin in July last year.
He informed the host that the Vietnamese NA has established the Vietnam-ASEAN Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group, with an aim of strengthening the exchange among Vietnamese NA deputies and their peers from ASEAN member countries, including Singapore, and contributing to promoting people-to-people exchange between the two countries.
Both sides agreed to maintain and strengthen meetings and exchange of delegations at all levels through channels, including the parliament channel, while continuing to promote the role of the legislative bodies of both sides in bolstering bilateral relations, especially through the sharing of experience in institutional building and legal system completion, contributing to fostering bilateral economic connectivity and developing digital economy and digital society -areas of Singapore’s strength.
President Phuc proposed that both sides increase the sharing of experience in issuing legal policies to give timely support to the two governments in disease prevention and control and improvement of the investment and business environment, thus assisting the socio-economic recovery in the new normal.
The two legislatures should consider the signing of a cooperation agreement to lay a foundation for the implementation of collaboration activities to match the strategic partnership between the two countries, he suggested.
The Vietnamese State leader expressed his hope that the legislative body of Singapore will continue to support the maintaining of the ASEAN common stance on ensuring peace, security, aviation and maritime security, safety and freedom in the East Sea, as well as the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
President Phuc took the occasion to convey NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s invitation to visit Vietnam to Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore Tan Chuan-Jin.
Vietnam, Singapore agree to implement defence cooperation fruitfully
Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Phan Van Giang and his Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen agreed to effectively implement the freshly signed agreement on defence cooperation during their meeting in the city state on February 25.
Minister Giang, who is accompanying President Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a State visit to Singapore from February 24 to 26, said amid the complex and unpredictable developments in the international and regional situation, the countries’ strategic partnership has still been flourishing, with the increasingly enhanced political trust and cooperation in economy – trade, culture, education – training, and defence – security.
Despite the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides have taken proactive and flexible moves to carry out cooperation activities; maintain strategic dialogue, consultation, information exchange, and training mechanisms; and support each other at the events held by their defence ministries, according to the Vietnamese minister.
He also thanked the Singaporean Ministry of Defence and Minister Ng Eng Hen for backing Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020.
For his part, the Singaporean minister spoke highly of the Vietnamese delegation’s visit, especially the signing of the agreement on bilateral defence cooperation the same day, and acknowledged Vietnam’s support for his country’s initiatives in ASEAN.
Both sides agreed on the cooperation orientations for the time ahead, with a focus on promoting coordination to carry out the signed agreement in an effective manner and enhancing ties between the militaries’ arms and services in an effective manner that matches each side’s potential and demand.
Minister Ng Eng Hen expressed his belief that on the basis of the defence cooperation deal, both sides will implement cooperation in multiple fields more practically.
At the meeting, the two officials exchanged views on some international and regional issues of common concern, including the maintenance of ASEAN’s cooperation mechanisms and centrality. They agreed to maintain the bloc’s stance on regional security issues, including the peaceful settlement of sea-related disputes such as those in the East Sea on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and to promote the building of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Visiting the Changi Naval Base later the same day, Minister Giang recognised the outcomes of cooperation between the two countries’ naval forces as seen in information sharing, consultation, and exchange activities, expressing his hope for the continued fruitful ties in the time to come.
The nation incentivizes Singaporean businesses to continue to expand their investment locally, while also considering investment promotion a priority moving forward, especially with regard to clean energy and sustainable development.