Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who pays a working visit to Vietnam. Photo: VNA
At the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife paid an official visit to Vietnam on 21-24 March 2017.
During the visit, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife held talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc; met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, State President Tran Dai Quang and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong laid a wreath at the Monument for Heroic Martyrs and paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warmly welcomed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for his official visit to Vietnam, expressing his belief that the latter’s visit would contribute significantly to consolidating and furthering the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Singapore in the new stage.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his pleasure to pay an official visit to Vietnam, highly appreciating the achievements Vietnam has made in nationalconstruction and development over the past time, agreeing to further promote the substantive strategic partnership between the two countriesfor the benefit of the two peoples, for peace, cooperation and prosperity in the region and the world.
The two PMs witnessed the signing of several co-operation documents, including the handover of an approval letter from the State Bank of Vietnam to Singapore’s United Overseas Bank to set up a 100% foreign capital branch in Vietnam, and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Sembcorp Group on the Dung Quat 2 Combined Gas Turbine BOT Project, an MOU between Danangand the Sembcorp joint venture to develop a software park in Danang, a MOU the Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association and the Singapore International Foundation, and a MOU between the State Capital Investment Corporation and Keppel Land Vietnam Limited and another MOUon the construction of Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Quang Tri Province between the People's Committee of Quang Tri Province and the Joint Venture of Sembcorp and Becamex.
At the meetings, the two sides appreciated the cooperative relations, whichare constantly promoted through the regular exchanges of high-level delegations between leaders and officials of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the ruling Party of Singapore, between the two States, Governments, National Assemblies and peoples.
The two sides emphasized that the strong development of trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two countries is a solid pillar of the strategic partnership and affirmed to promote a favorable business environment, and business connection. As Vietnam has achievedstrong progress in value chain, Singaporean companies will have the opportunity to participate in high value added areas such as the establishment of high-tech zones. Singapore will continue to support Vietnam's capacity building, as well as facilitate foreign direct investment and trade between Vietnam and Southeast Asian countries.
The two sides stressed the need to strengthen cooperation in smart city development and urban modernization through the application of information,telecommunication technologies in life and urban management, transportation and environment, and cooperation between Singapore and some major cities of Vietnam.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged Vietnam's proposal for support to the treatment, recycling and use of wastewater; protection and management of the environment of tourist and coastal areas; the signing of memorandum on labor cooperation and teaching of foreign languages and skills for Vietnamese workers.
The two sides expressed hope that the aviation authorities would continue to cooperate in liberalizing the aviation agreement and committed to promote cooperation within ASEAN frameworks.
In addition to bilateral cooperation, both sides pledged to promote free trade and continue to participate in regional initiatives such as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The two countries will continue to work closely with each other and with other members in seeking solutions to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore supports Vietnam in APEC 2017.
Enhanced defense cooperation has been reaffirmed by both sides through high-level visits, consultation mechanisms and bilateral activities to strengthen friendship and trust between the two sides as well as within the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)framework. The two sides willcontinue to cooperate in addressing common security challenges such as maritime security, piracy, terrorism, transnational crime, commit to free trade and continue to participate in regional initiatives, support the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon complete the Code of Conduct (COC) to facilitate the early conclusion of the COC.
During the visit, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife worked with leaders of Ho Chi Minh City, visited some of the city's historic sites; met the Singapore business community in Ho Chi Minh City and attended the opening ofBusiness Center of Mapletree (Singapore's top investor in Ho Chi Minh City); met the Party Secretary of Danang City and Chairman of People's Committee of Hanoi. Also on this occasion, the Omega Vietnam Books Company, Singapore Embassy, Vietnam Intellectual Cooperation Center jointly launched the memoir of former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew.