Monday, 18/6/2018
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid an official visit to Singapore and attended the 32nd ASEAN Summit
29/5/2018 9:43' Send Print
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had an intensive agenda with a variety of activities, both bilateral and multilateral.

During his official visit to Singapore, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid a courtesy call to Singapore President Halimah Yacob, had talks with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, visited the Singapore Government Technology Agency, which is responsible for implementing the Smart Nation and Digital Government Strategy; laid wreaths at Uncle Ho statue and visited the Museum of Asian Civilization; met and held dialogues with major Singapore corporations which have invested in Vietnam; shared experience with scientists and intellectuals in Singapore on applying technology 4.0 in building facilitating governments; visited Singapore's leading seaport and logistics system; attended the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum; and addressed students and lecturers of the Singapore Management University (SMU).

Singapore leaders expressed their pleasure to, for the first time, welcome Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his official visit to Singapore, emphasizing that the visit marked a milestone in the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Singapore. The two sides noted with satisfaction the substantial progress in the Vietnam-Singapore relations over the past time. Singapore has always been one of the 10 largest trading partners and the third largest investor in Vietnam with more than 2,000 projects, and registered capital of US$ 43 billion, which is almost doubled since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Singapore counterpart discussed measures to capitalize on opportunities of regional economic links generated by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the fourth industrial revolution to uphold cooperation and bring about practical benefits for people.

They agreed to maintain trustful and close political ties through all-level delegation exchanges, including high-level delegations, boost defense-security cooperation, with attention paid to practical collaboration between naval, aviation and search and rescue forces, and in defense technology, strategic research and intelligence information exchange. They agreed to coordinate with each other in handling common security challenges such as piracy and terrorism.

The two Prime Ministers concurred that investment and trade cooperation is an important pillar in bilateral ties, and vowed to promote business connectivity, exploit aviation linkage potentials, increase the number of passengers and goods transport between the two countries and with other countries towards liberalization of the aviation agreement. Both sides agreed to stimulate collaboration in finance and stock market management, helping Vietnamese companies list in the Singaporean securities market. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged that Singapore will continue investing in Vietnam and offering scholarships for Vietnamese students.

The two sides compared note on visions and agreed to enhance bilateral ties at international forums, especially within the framework of the ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the United Nations. They affirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region along with freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. They reiterated their support for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and early finalization of an effective and legal binding Code of Conduct (COC) of parties in the East Sea. On this occasion, the two Prime Ministers adopted a joint statement on the visit and witnessed the signing of several cooperation deals.

Within the framework of the visit, the Prime Minister carried out investment promotion activities, attended the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum, witnessed the signing of 16 cooperation agreements between the two parties, met and talked with many Singaporean leading companies. He stated that Vietnam welcomes Singaporean investors, who will bring to Vietnam the rich experience of the start-up nation of Singapore. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that there will be more cooperation opportunities to businesses of the two countries for comprehensive development of the two countries and of the whole region.

The Prime Minister visited the Singapore Management University (SMU), SMU's start-ups Nursery, one of the top establishments supporting start-ups in Singapore and met Vietnamese students studying there. The Prime Minister said, "The Government of Vietnam holds that in the innovation and national start-up ecosystem, university plays an important role... I am confident that, in the near future, many young people here will be presidents and CEOs of Vietnam's regional and international businesses, including in Singapore." In his address to the students, the Prime Minister expressed his belief that the students would be pioneers in building Vietnamese and Singapore start-up companies, and building Vietnamese brand in their workplaces.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the 32nd ASEAN Summit under the theme: "Building a Self-reliant and Innovative ASEAN." This is the first summit in Singapore's Chairmanship of ASEAN 2018. Leaders stressed the importance of ASEAN's self-reliance and creativity, maintaining that this would be a solid foundation for the Association to move forward in the context of rapid and complex regional and international developments with new opportunities generated by the 4th industrial revolution.

Sharing his views with ASEAN leaders, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that ASEAN's collective self-reliant capacity should be cultivated and promoted on all three pillars, of which maintaining unity, and centrality of ASEAN is critical. "If the 10 member countries focus on promoting their internal strength and stay together as a united solidarity block, ASEAN will have collective synergy," the Prime Minister said. “When we think the same way and act as one, no external force can influence ASEAN and its international position is raised.” In a regional security architecture which is taking shape an ASEAN community of unity and cohesion will uphold its central role in mutually beneficial cooperation with partners to build regional law-based order, and share responsibility in addressing issues of common interest.

The Prime Minister also said that promoting innovation efficiency would be a lever for strengthening ASEAN's self-reliance, of which economic self-reliance is very important for largely open economies such as ASEAN. The ASEAN community must be a solid home to protect people from natural disasters, climate change, extreme weather and epidemics. People’s life will be easier when they are facilitated to move between countries, access to more job and study opportunities and receive timely assistance from outside the region. On this occasion, the Prime Minister made known that Vietnam’s top three cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang will join the ASEAN Smart City Network initiative.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Prime Minister had bilateral meetings with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Myanmar President Win Myint, discussing measures to further promote bilateral relations.

The official visit to Singapore and the 32nd ASEAN Summit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc contributed to creating new impetus for cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore, demonstrating Viet Nam's support for Singapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN 2018, further promoting unity and sustaining the central role of ASEAN in an open, and transparent regional architecture.

Nguyen Duc