Vietnam, Singapore enter strategic partnership

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Vietnam, Singapore enter strategic partnership

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (L) reviews the guard of honor with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Wednesday. Lee is in Hanoi for a three-day visit to Vietnam from September 11 to 13

 HCMC – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday announced the establishment of strategic partnership between the two nations, opening op opportunities for closer bonds.

The strategic partnership centers on five pillars, political relations and mutual trust, economic cooperation, national defense and security cooperation, cooperation in other fields like education, healthcare and culture, and coordination at regional and international forums.

The strategic partnership was forged given the fruitful achievements made during 40 years of bilateral relationship, the official portal reports.

This is the second visit to Vietnam made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong since he took office.

Vietnam and Singapore established ties in 1973 and their relations have flourished since Vietnam became a member of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995.

National leaders have regularly exchanged official visits, of which during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s trip last September, the two sides issued a joint statement pledging to elevate their relations to a strategic partnership level in 2013.

The two government leaders on Wednesday appraised effects of the Framework Agreement on Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity in several areas including finance, investment, trade and service, transport, information technology and telecoms, education and training, and Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), a symbol of the two countries’ investment cooperation.

Aside from four VSIPs in Binh Duong Province, Bac Ninh Province and Haiphong City, the fifth VSIP is expected to be set up in the central province of Quang Ngai soon.

Last year, two-way trade between the two nations surpassed US$9 billion while Singaporean firms are carrying out nearly 1,200 projects worth over US$28 billion in Vietnam. Singapore’s investment projects have proven effective and have contributed remarkably to Vietnam’s economy.

The two leaders expressed their pleasure at the coordination between the two countries within the frameworks of ASEAN, APEC, ASEM and the UN.

Both sides agreed to work with other ASEAN members to boost the building of ASEAN Community and promote its central role in the region for peace, security, development and prosperity.

PM Dung said in a televised session that he and the Singapore leader stressed the importance of peaceful economic development in the region, sea navigation freedom in the East Sea, and settlement of all sea-related disputes via peaceful ways, with references to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The related sides will also make efforts to build up trust and to prepare for building the Code of Conduct in the coming time.

During the talks on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dung expressed his hope that Singapore would continue to be an economic, financial, scientific and technological center of the region.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also affirmed to create conditions for Singaporean enterprises to invest in Vietnam, especially in the fields of seafood and clean veggies processing, gene technology and cross breeding. He also noticed suggestions of the Vietnamese side on facilitating exports of potential products such as primary industries, garment and textile to Singapore.

By Phuong Thao - The Saigon Times Daily