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Prime Minister pays official visit to Singapore

Released at: 08:22, 27/04/2018

Prime Minister pays official visit to Singapore

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) meets with his Singaporean counterpart during his visit between April 25-27 (Photo: VNA)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse visit Singapore from April 25 to 27.

by Long Van

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse paid an official visit to Singapore from April 25 to 27 at the invitation of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The two countries issued a joint statement, the text of which follows and was released by the Vietnam News Agency.

1. At the invitation of His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Madam Tran Nguyet Thu made an official visit to Singapore from April 25 to 27. The visit was a key highlight of celebrations for the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Singapore. Prime Minister Phuc was accorded a ceremonial welcome and had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee, who also hosted an official dinner in Prime Minister Phuc’s honor. Prime Minister Phuc also called on Her Excellency Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore.

2. The two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of the following memoranda of understanding (MoUs): (i) An MoU on Technical Cooperation in the Protection of Environmental and Water Matters between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam and the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of Singapore; (ii) An MoU on Collaboration in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) between Enterprise Singapore and the Department of Oil & Gas under Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade; (iii) An MoU on Collaboration for Renewable Energy in Vietnam between Enterprise Singapore and the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority of Vietnam; (iv) An MoU on Cooperation in Standards and Conformance Areas between Enterprise Singapore and the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality of Vietnam; (v) An MoU on Cooperation and Exchange of Information in Banking Supervision between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the State Bank of Vietnam; and (vi) An MoU on Cooperation in the Area of Financial Innovation between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the State Bank of Vietnam.

3. Both Prime Ministers had a wide-ranging discussion on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. They welcomed the substantial progress in bilateral relations achieved since both countries established diplomatic relations in 1973 and since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2013. In particular, both Prime Ministers noted that mutual trust between the two countries has deepened and bilateral cooperation has strengthened in all areas, including economic cooperation, capacity building, defense, security, culture, and people-to-people links.

4. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the two countries are entering a new phase of strategic cooperation given the new opportunities presented by strong economic growth in the two countries and the region, as well as the ASEAN Community and the newly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), among others.

5. Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining frequent high-level exchanges between leaders and officials of the two governments, ruling Parties, and parliaments and through people-to-people links. Both sides also agreed to create more opportunities to exchange views, ideas and initiatives on strategic issues through consultation.

6. Both Prime Ministers welcomed the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations and the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Strategic Partnership, and agreed that both sides should organize events in 2018 on this occasion to strengthen political, trade/economic, and people-to-people exchanges, in order to further promote mutual understanding.

7. Both Prime Ministers noted that the extensive investment and trade ties form a key pillar of the bilateral relationship and agreed on the importance of creating a pro-business environment, such as through the enforcement of regulations and consistent government policies, strengthening business-to-business links and facilitating the expeditious resolution of challenges faced by businesses. Highlighting that Singapore is the third-largest investor in Vietnam, Prime Minister Phuc welcomed more investment from Singapore, particularly in the equitization of Vietnam’s State-owned enterprises and in the fields of energy (including LNG and renewable energy), tourism (including cruise development, product management, and marketing), infrastructure (including highways and seaports), urban solutions, science and technology, high-tech parks, smart cities (in the areas of public safety and security, smart mobility, and digital infrastructure), and in the digital economy (including tie-ups between Singaporean and Vietnamese startups). Prime Minister Phuc will witness the signing of several MoUs at the Vietnam-Singapore Business Dialogue on April 26.

8. Recognizing the existing value of two-way bilateral trade in agricultural commodities including fresh fruit and vegetables, forestry products and fisheries for the economies of both countries, the two sides prioritized efforts to strengthen collaboration in the agriculture sector through trade, investment and other business links. The two Prime Ministers encouraged joint business initiatives to capitalize on Singapore’s innovative technologies and agri-business expertise.

9. Both sides acknowledged the deepening financial cooperation ties between Singapore and Vietnam with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the State Bank of Vietnam enhancing bilateral collaboration through the signing of two MoUs on financial innovation and banking supervision. Financial links between the two sides have also increased with the growing presence of Singaporean banks in Vietnam and the increasing interest of Vietnamese enterprises to cross-list on the Singapore Exchange to access Singapore’s capital market for funding and to raise their profile. Singapore has also continued to provide capacity building assistance to Vietnam in sharing experience in financial regulation, supervision and financial stability surveillance.

10. The two Prime Ministers affirmed the commitment for the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and the Vietnam National Office of Intellectual Property to collaborate with each other to leverage innovation and intellectual property (IP) to promote economic growth. The 2018 Implementation Workplan, established under the Memorandum of Bilateral Cooperation between the two national IP offices, will provide for deeper cooperation in the areas of IP commercialization, patent work-sharing, and IP training.

11. Both Prime Ministers agreed to actively promote connectivity between the two countries as a means to boost business and people-to-people linkages. Both sides agreed that there was potential to enhance air connectivity and grow passenger and cargo traffic between and beyond Singapore and Vietnam, and looked forward to a progressive liberalization of the bilateral Air Services Agreement towards this end. Both sides agreed to actively consider activities to further promote connectivity between the two countries, including in sea transport and logistics. Singapore also reaffirmed its commitment to provide training for civil aviation and maritime personnel from Vietnam. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the potential launch of direct flights between Singapore and Nha Trang.

12. The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the significant progress made in defense ties and reaffirmed their commitment to advancing cooperation through high-level visits and defense policy dialogues, bilateral military-to-military interactions, and exchanges of junior military officers and port calls.

13. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together closely to strengthen the regional security architecture through strategic dialogue on the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus. Both sides also agreed to enhance practical cooperation through the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups’ activities, such as workshops and exercises.

14. Both Prime Ministers highlighted the importance of enhanced security and intelligence cooperation to combat terrorism, extremism, and transnational crime, as well as closer cooperation on issues related to cyber security etc. Singapore also stood ready to assist Vietnam with its capacity building in the areas of immigration management, crime database and confidential information protection.

15. Prime Minister Phuc expressed his appreciation of Singapore’s continued assistance in human resources development, through programs such as training conducted under the auspices of the Agreement on the Study Visit Programme and Executive Education Programme for Senior Communist Party of Vietnam Officials (2017-2019). Singapore will continue to encourage its educational institutions and service providers in Singapore to consider participating in suitable education development projects implemented by Vietnam. Both sides also pledged to work actively to strengthen cooperation and linkages between their respective vocational training institutions, including joint programs aimed at enhancing exchanges between the young people of both countries.

16. Both Prime Ministers noted the importance of preserving and protecting the environment to ensure the well-being of their peoples. They agreed to continue addressing international and regional challenges, including those that are transnational in nature, such as air and haze pollution, water quality management, coastal and marine pollution and climate change. The two leaders acknowledged the strong potential for Singapore and Vietnam to cooperate to respond to environmental challenges, in areas including solid and hazardous waste, air and water quality, and noise management. Prime Minister Phuc affirmed Vietnam’s support for Singapore’s initiative on the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action that will be held in July 2018.

17. Both Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the excellent cooperation between both countries in regional and international forums, such as in ASEAN and related forums, APEC, ASEM, and the UN. Prime Minister Lee thanked Prime Minister Phuc for Vietnam’s strong support for Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2018 to achieve a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN.

18. The two countries agreed to maintain regular consultation on regional issues and coordinate closely to further consolidate ASEAN’s unity, solidarity and centrality, as well as to ensure the effective implementation of the ASEAN Vision 2025.

19. The two Prime Ministers reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. The two countries underlined the importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The two sides reaffirmed their support for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the early conclusion of an effective and binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

20. As Chairman of ASEAN 2018, Singapore reaffirmed its support for continued assistance to CLMV in narrowing the development gap, through the Singapore Cooperation Programme and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration.

21. Prime Minister Phuc expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation and looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Lee and other leaders of Singapore to visit Vietnam at a mutually convenient time.

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