Singaporean PM’s visit expected to strengthen strategic partnership

11:18 | 20/03/2017 Vietnam - Asean

The upcoming visit of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, will be a chance for Vietnam and Singapore to discuss strategic plans and specific measures to deepen their strategic partnership.

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong
Over the years, the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership has been going forward in a practical and trustworthy manner with regular exchanges of visits by delegations at all levels and extended cooperation via Party, State, National Assembly and Government channels. Bilateral links in the fields of economics, trade and investment, national defence and security, education, transport, tourism, finance and law have flourished.

Since 1996, Singapore has been one of Vietnam’s three largest partners. The island state is Vietnam’s third-largest trade partner in ASEAN and the sixth-largest in the world.

Two-way trade hit US$7.1 billion last year, with major traded products including petrol and oils, computer, electronics and spare parts and mobile phones. Additionally, Vietnam ships fishery products, coffee, pepper and vegetables to Singapore.

Singapore’s direct investment in Vietnam has kept going up since 1998, now totalling US$39 billion, making the island state the third largest investor among 101 countries and territories in Vietnam. Singapore’s investment is mostly in real estate, the processing industry, engineering and construction, with the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) considered a symbol of Singapore investment efficiency...

In 2014, Singapore became the fifth–most popular study destination for Vietnamese students with nearly 8,500 Vietnamese students.

In the field of culture, the two nations mainly partner within the framework of the ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information (ASEAN–COCI). Singapore is a significant tourist market for Vietnam and also a popular destination for Vietnamese travellers. The Vietnam-Singapore Tourism Cooperation Joint Committee has so far convened 14 sessions, with the most recent one being held in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat in May 2016.

Last year, Vietnam welcomed 257,014 visitors from Singapore, up 8.7% year on year, while nearly 470,000 Vietnamese visited the island state, marking a 12% increase. Since 2006, bilateral tourism coordination has been added to the framework of the two economies’ connectivity.

Singapore is actively assisting Vietnam in preparing the agenda for the APEC 2017.

Theo NDO/VNA