PM Lee calls Vietnam Singapore’s important regional strategic partner

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday said Vietnam is an important strategic partner in the region for Singapore.

In a dialogue in Hanoi, Lee expressed his satisfaction towards the development of the Vietnam-Singapore relationship, a press release by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs read.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Lee’s official visit to Vietnam holds important meaning as Vietnam and Singapore commemorate the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of establishing a strategic partnership, and sends a message regarding a powerful commitment to cooperate for development, according to the release.

Both leaders remarked how Singapore became Vietnam’s biggest foreign investor in the first eight months of this year, with over $3.6 billion of newly registered capital. They also considered the possibility of upgrading bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership in the coming times.

Chinh requested Singapore to provide opportunities for the import of Vietnamese goods, as well as the development and transition of Vietnam-Singapore industrial parks into smart industrial parks, while expanding investments into Vietnam’s prioritized fields. He also wanted Singapore to support Vietnam with industrial development for production, like textile, wood-making and ship-building.

Both leaders agreed with bolstering cooperation on defense and security through the signing and effective deployment of agreements, utilizing dialogue mechanisms and collaborating in multilateral activities.

Chinh requested Singapore to help Vietnam build and operate a big data center for anti-crime purposes, especially criminals utilizing high technologies. He also wanted to hasten the system connectivity between Vietnam and Singapore’s digital identification and verification system to make it easier for citizens of one country traveling to or living in another.

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Both leaders stressed the importance of maritime freedom and security, as well as the comprehensive and effective conduct of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the creation of a practical and effective code of conduct on the South China Sea in accordance with international law. Vietnam calls the waters the East Sea.

Following their dialogue, the two leaders witnessed the signing of seven documents on fields such as innovation, skill development, infrastructure and economic development.

Singapore is Vietnam’s leading economic partner in the region. The two countries are always in the group of each other’s 15 largest trading partners, with Vietnam now being Singapore’s 12th largest trade partner and Singapore being Vietnam’s 15th.

Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries reached $9.15 billion in 2022, an 11.57% increase from 2021.

Vietnam-Singapore industrial parks have become a symbol of economic cooperation between the two countries, with 14 such parks in 10 Vietnam localities, garnering $18.7 billion in investments for 866 projects, creating 300,000 jobs.