President Tran Dai Quang and his wife and President of Singapore Tony Tan and his wife. Photo: VNA
At the invitation of President of the Republic of Singapore Tony Tan Keng Yam, President Tran Dai Quang, his wife and a high-level delegation of Viet Nam made a State visit to the Republic of Singapore on 28-30 August.
President Tran Dai Quang held talks with President Tony Tan Keng Yam and met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The two sides confirmed that the good bilateral relations are developing rapidly since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership since 2013. The frequent exchanges of leaders, officials and people of the two countries continue to strengthen the solid foundation of bilateral relations.
President Tran Dai Quang expressed appreciation for Singapore's assistance in training and capacity building under the Singapore Cooperation Program of more than 16,700 Vietnamese public servants. The program includes courses in Singapore for officials of the Communist Party of Viet Nam under the agreement on advanced Training Program and learning Research Programme for senior Party of Communist Party of Viet Nam (2013-2015). The two sides agreed to encourage relevant agencies of the two countries on the renewal agreement for the period 2016-2018.
President Tran Dai Quang and President Tony Tan Keng Yam highly appreciated trade cooperation, investment and strong economic ties between the two countries. Bilateral trade has grown rapidly in the past decade, amounting to 21.6 billion Singapore dollars in 2015, with an increase of 10.6% in 2015. Singapore is the 6th largest trade partner of Viet Nam while Viet Nam is Singapore’s 11th largest trade partner. Singapore is the 3rd largest investor in Viet Nam with a total registered investment capital of approximately US$ 38 billion.
President Tran Dai Quang held that Singapore's investments have contributed to the development and economic growth of Viet Nam, including the Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) and successful high-tech innovation parks across Viet Nam attracting about US$ 9 billion in investment and creating more than 170,000 jobs. The two sides welcomed the strengthening of bilateral relations, in which Viet Nam continues to create a favorable investment environment for foreign businesses.
At the meeting with Vietnamese President, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted the importance of the complete legal infrastructure as the foundation for developing financial services for Viet Nam. The Prime Minister also requested earlier license for UOB’s foreign branches to facilitate financial services in Viet Nam to Vietnamese and Singapore enterprises.
President Tran Dai Quang took note of the request and would direct relevant agencies of Viet Nam to work in close cooperation with UOB bank to complete the technical procedures for the licensing. Both sides noted that strengthening of regional connectivity will promote economic development in Viet Nam through increasing exchanges of people, goods and services, and welcomed the enhanced connectivity through expanded air service agreements.
Both sides also took stock of the strong development of security and defense cooperation which contributes to enhancing mutual understanding. On the basis of the Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2009 (DCA), the two sides agreed to: (i) maintain bilateral visits and dialogue mechanism between the two defense agencies, including policy dialogue between Vietnamese Vice Minister of Defense and Singapore Permanent Secretary of Defense; (ii) strengthen strategic research collaboration between research institutions; (iii) promote exchanges between the two armies as the exchange of experts, as well as multilateral cooperation in the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM+, and (iv) continuing cooperation on available intelligence and security to combat terrorism, extremism and transnational crime.
Singapore is ready to support Viet Nam in fulfilling the role of chairman of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) in 2017 through a joint initiative for the benefit of the two countries. Singapore will provide technical assistance and capacity building for Vietnamese staff in the Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two sides affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.
The two leaders stressed the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes, including full respect for the legal and diplomatic procedures, no threat to use or use of force, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The two sides affirmed their support for the full implementation and efficiency of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and close cooperation towards early building of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
During the visit to Singapore, President Tran Dai Quang worked with Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Teo Chee Hean and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, attended and spoke at the Singapore-Viet Nam Business Forum and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies-Institute of Yusof Ishak (ISEAS), met some largest investors in Viet Nam, and witnessed the signing of: (i) Memorandum of Understanding on the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore (GIC) acquiring of 7.73% stake in Vietcombank of Viet Nam worth approximately US$ 385 million and (ii) Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Viet Nam and the Singapore Business Federation.