Singaporean Minister for Overseas Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan. — VNA/VNS Photograph Dương Giang
SINGAPORE — Singaporean Minister for Overseas Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan spoke with the Vietnam Information Company forward of a State go to by Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to Singapore on the invitation of President Halimah Yacob, slated for February 24-26.
Evaluating the achievements within the bilateral relationship, Minister Balakrishnan stated Singapore-Việt Nam ties have grown from energy to energy since they first established diplomatic relations in 1973.
“At the moment, we take pleasure in wide-ranging cooperation in lots of areas, constructed on a basis of mutual friendship and studying,” he stated.
“There are three fundamental causes for this: the excessive degree of belief on the political degree, our long-standing win-win partnerships, and our robust people-to- individuals ties.
“Our leaders have constructed up a excessive degree of political belief and understanding over generations.
“Now we have frequent bilateral interactions, and meet one another typically at regional and multilateral boards. Regardless of the disruptions attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now discovered methods to maintain up the momentum of our engagements.
“Following the thirteenth Communist Celebration of Việt Nam (CPV) Congress, Singaporean Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong telephoned President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and PM Phạm Minh Chính to congratulate them on their new appointments. The 2 PMs additionally met in particular person in Jakarta on the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders’ Assembly in April 2021.
“In June 2021, I used to be honoured to be the primary Overseas Minister to go to Việt Nam for the reason that thirteenth Celebration Congress, in addition to the primary Singapore minister to go to Vietnam for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic started. I had fruitful conversations with Việt Nam’s leaders, together with my counterpart Overseas Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn, with whom I’ve interacted frequently since.
“Maintaining parliament-to-parliament relations, President of the Nationwide Meeting Vương Đình Huệ met Speaker of the Singapore Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin by way of videoconference in July 2021. In the meantime, on the commerce and funding entrance, Minister of Planning and Funding Nguyễn Chí Dũng and Second Minister for Commerce and Business Dr Tan See Leng co-chaired the fifteenth Connectivity Ministerial Assembly in November 2021 nearly.
“Singapore and Việt Nam share a typical strategic outlook. First, as ASEAN Member States, Singapore and Việt Nam are firmly dedicated to regional peace and stability in addition to ASEAN centrality. Our pursuits are higher served when ASEAN is robust, unbiased, and united, and once we cooperate to attain prosperity and growth as a area.
“On this regard, Singapore appreciates the constructive function that Việt Nam has performed since becoming a member of ASEAN in 1995. This was evident throughout Việt Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 which established necessary mechanisms to assist our area address the COVID-19 disaster collectively.
“Second, we’re agency supporters of a rules-based worldwide order and worldwide regulation. It’s important for each small and medium-sized states to make sure that the ‘guidelines of the sport’ of the worldwide system are adhered to, and that the precept of ‘may is correct’ doesn’t prevail.
“Third, we’re strongly dedicated to free commerce. Singapore and Việt Nam are each members of the Complete and Progressive Settlement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Complete Financial Partnership (RCEP). We’re additionally the one two ASEAN international locations with a free commerce settlement (FTA) with the European Union.
“Given our shared pursuits, our bilateral agenda is full and optimistic. I wish to spotlight two areas specifically: our financial hyperlinks, and our long-standing cooperation in human useful resource growth.
“Financial cooperation has been the cornerstone of our bilateral relationship. Singapore corporations see Việt Nam as a pretty funding vacation spot. Việt Nam has skilled speedy progress and growth because it launched into its đổi mới (Renewal) programme in 1986.
“Việt nam has persistently loved excessive GDP progress charges. With its younger and hardworking inhabitants of practically 100 million, Việt Nam is well-placed to change into a serious engine for progress and financial integration within the area. Việt Nam was one of many few international locations on this planet to attain optimistic financial progress in 2020 and 2021 amidst the pandemic. This showcases the resilience of Việt Nam’s financial system, which is anticipated to be one of many area’s fastest-growing economies in 2022.
“Singapore corporations are desperate to take part in Việt Nam’s progress story. Regardless of the pandemic, they see alternatives to diversify and increase their presence in Việt Nam. Singapore has been the main supply of international direct funding (FDI) into Việt Nam for 2 years operating.
“With cumulative funding of US$62.55 billion in additional than 2,600 initiatives in 45 out of 63 provinces in Vietnam, Việt Nam can also be the highest ASEAN investor in Việt Nam, and third general, after Japan and South Korea. We rank persistently as considered one of Việt Nam’s largest buying and selling companions.
“The Việt Nam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) are iconic initiatives in our bilateral relationship. Within the 25 years for the reason that first VSIP was established, VSIP’s footprint has grown to 10 Industrial Parks in seven localities. Collectively, they’ve attracted US$14 billion in investments and created over 270,000 jobs in Việt Nam. VSIP can also be working to remain related, by integrating innovation and sustainable growth to accommodate industries of the longer term.
“As Việt Nam’s develops right into a middle-income nation, our corporations proceed to search for new alternatives in sectors like e-commerce, logistics, schooling, meals and life-style providers, and concrete options.
“Singapore and Việt Nam are additionally longstanding companions in human useful resource growth. We share a typical perception that that is the important thing to our sustainable growth and progress. Việt Nam stays the highest companion of the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) with greater than 20,000 Vietnamese officers having participated in our programs since 2002.
“In 2021, we commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the institution of the Việt Nam-Singapore Cooperation Centre. I’m particularly proud that amid the disruptions posed by the pandemic, our coaching programmes by no means wavered. Over the previous two years, we have now upgraded the Centre to pivot to delivering programs nearly and performed 36 on-line programs for over 600 officers.
“There’s robust grassroots assist for the connection and frequent interplay between our peoples. Through the years, our individuals have cast lasting hyperlinks via academic exchanges and tourism.
“Many Vietnamese are occupied with learning in Singapore. Singapore hosts many Vietnamese college students who’ve executed effectively in our faculties and universities, a few of whom have received scholarships. Singapore academic establishments are likewise eager to have examine visits and change programmes with their Vietnamese counterparts to deepen the information and mutual understanding that our individuals have for one another.
“Tourism has additionally strengthened our people-to-people hyperlinks. Việt Nam is likely one of the favorite locations for Singaporeans. The curiosity is mutual, as surveys performed by the Singapore Tourism Board in 2021 confirmed that Singapore was among the many high locations that the Vietnamese most wished to go to as soon as journey restrictions have been lifted.”
Concerning the upcoming go to by President Phúc, the FM stated Singapore warmly welcome the Vietnamese chief to Singapore.
“That is the primary State go to that Singapore is internet hosting for the reason that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
“It is a chance to reaffirm our robust bilateral ties, take inventory of our cooperation and focus on methods to advance our relationship as we work collectively in the direction of a post-pandemic restoration.
He added: “Singapore appears ahead to preserving our partnership forward-looking by increasing into rising areas, and partnering Việt Nam within the subsequent chapter of its growth.
“In 2023, we’ll rejoice the fiftieth anniversary of our bilateral relations, and the tenth anniversary of our Strategic Partnership.
“Wanting forward, I need to spotlight two areas specifically. First, we have to speed up our cooperation within the digital financial system. This can be a precedence for each Singapore and Việt Nam, and encompasses many new areas similar to cybersecurity, good cities, innovation, synthetic intelligence, and digital funds. COVID-19 has highlighted the essential function of digital commerce and e-commerce in making certain provide chain resilience and enterprise continuity.
“Throughout my go to to Việt Nam final yr, we agreed to determine a Digital Economic system Working Group to determine helpful areas of cooperation. I’m assured that the Working Group will function a launchpad for a lot of concrete collaborations between our governments, companies, and different establishments.
“Second, sustainable growth. Like COVID-19, local weather change is a world situation that may solely be tackled via the collective efforts of governments and folks worldwide. Singapore is eager to work with Việt Nam because it will increase investments in sustainable infrastructure and renewable vitality, with the formidable purpose of reaching web zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Requested concerning the mutual assist between the 2 international locations in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singaporean diplomat remarked the pandemic has fostered stronger bonds among the many two peoples.
He stated: “The Singaporean group in Việt Nam stepped as much as contribute to Việt Nam’s efforts to struggle its fourth COVID-19 wave final yr. On the government-to-government degree, we supported one another with essential medical provides and tools at key junctures in our struggle towards the pandemic. We additionally supported the return of our nationals residing in one another’s international locations, and ensured their entry to vaccines and healthcare. As either side study to dwell with COVID-19, we hope to take the subsequent step by resuming protected journey between our international locations.
“Throughout my go to to Việt Nam in June 2021, we agreed to determine a bilateral working group on COVID-19 public well being and border measures to facilitate information sharing on COVID-19 administration and the eventual resumption of enterprise and private journey between our international locations. Singapore is honoured to be within the first group of nations with which Việt Nam resumed worldwide industrial flights this yr. Equally, we welcome Việt Nam plans to take away journey restrictions by mid-March this yr,” he stated. — VNS
Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc throughout the go to to Singapore on February 24-26 is scheduled to fulfill with President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and Singapore parliamentarians throughout his go to.