Vietnam, Singapore legislatures strengthen ties
Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Halimah Yacob welcomes Vietnamese NA Vice Chairman Huynh Ngoc Son. (Source: VNA)
On July 30, Son was received by Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Halimah Yacob, who expressed her hope to boost the two legislatures’ cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally.
She suggested the two sides strengthen coordination at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and other international forums.
Son affirmed that Vietnam will continue cooperating with other ASEAN and AIPA member countries, including Singapore, to form a united and developed ASEAN Community by 2015.
The two legislative bodies should increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, pay attention to cooperation between their committees, consider the signing of cooperative agreements and speed up the establishment of a friendship parliamentarians’ group in each country, he said.
The top Singaporean legislator acknowledged the Vietnamese side’s proposals, affirming that Singapore will accelerate the establishment of a parliamentarians’ group with Vietnam, and send a high-ranking delegation the 132nd General Assembly of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) to be held in Vietnam in 2015.
During its stay in Singapore, the Vietnamese delegation also held working sessions with other senior Singaporean officials, including Senior Minister of State for Defence Chan Chun Sing, Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran, Defence Permanent Secretary Chan Yeng Kit and Deputy Director of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs Ellen Lee.
At the meetings, the Vietnamese side spoke highly of Singapore’s socio-economic and diplomatic achievements over the past time, as well as the country’s increasing role in ASEAN and other regional and international organisations.
Son applauded the two countries’ active discussions on the content of their strategic partnership to be announced during Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s coming visit to Vietnam.
He also expressed his belief that the strategic partnership will be a driving force to lift bilateral cooperation to a new height, for the interests of the two peoples, and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
The Singaporean officials agreed to seek new cooperation fields with Vietnam while maintaining the effective implementation of current cooperation mechanisms.
They said the Vietnamese delegation’s visit contributed to strengthening the two countries’ friendship as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Vietnam, Singapore boast typical relations
Vietnam and Singapore are two countries with typical, outstanding and high-level relations in many aspects, affirmed Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Tran Hai Hau.
Speaking to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Singapore on the occasion of the two countries’ 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties, the ambassador said the visits to Singapore made by President Truong Tan Sang (who chose the lion city as the first leg of his visit after taking office two years ago), Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong last year and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in June, are examples of the close and mutual trust political relationship between the two nations.
Meanwhile, Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam selected Vietnam as the first country to visit after he assumed office last year, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong plans to pay a visit to Vietnam this September, he noted.
The ambassador went on to say that the two countries’ ministries, branches and localities have regularly conducted delegation exchanges to share experience and discuss measures to strengthen cooperation and boost economic connectivity.
Singapore has so far invested 28 billion USD in Vietnam, ranking second among foreign partners investing in Vietnam and accounting for 13 percent of the total FDI in the country, said the ambassador. He added that in the first six months of this year, Singaporean registered capital to Vietnam reached 3.4 billion USD.
“According to Singaporean statistics, two-way trade hit 15.9 billion SGD (nearly 12.4 billion USD) in 2012, of which, Vietnam’s exports to Singapore rose to 35 percent. These were impressive figures,” said Ambassador Hau.
The two countries have seen eventful people-to-people and cultural exchanges, said the ambassador, adding that 20 flights connect Vietnam and Singapore every day.
“Vietnam and Singapore often work closely in ASEAN cooperation towards building the ASEAN Community by 2015, and actively collaborate at regional and international forums. The two sides also share viewpoints on issues relating to regional security, peace, stability and joint cooperation,” the ambassador noted.
Regarding boosting Vietnam-Singapore ties in the coming time, Hau said that the document on the strategic partnership, which is scheduled to be signed during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Vietnam this September, will be a legal foundation and initiate the most comprehensive cooperation framework up to now.
It will provide orientations for the two countries’ ministries, agencies and localities to expand and deepen their relations and cooperation in the fields of mutual interests, he said.
Another factor is Vietnam’s consistent policy of openness, active regional and international integration and creating a clearer investment environment, said the ambassador.
Vietnam’s ministries, agencies and localities have also attached special importance to Singapore’s investment projects, he said, stressing this is an important factor to continue expanding bilateral economic, trade and investment ties.
Added to this, cooperation achievements made by the two countries over the last 40 years and their current bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation stature will make a firm foundation for their strategic partnership, stated Ambassador Hau.
Last but not least, ASEAN-Singapore connectivity together with connections within the ASEAN region will interact and boost bilateral ties, he said, adding that the future Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to which both Vietnam and Singapore are members, are expected to further enhance their economic ties in the time to come.
“These are the factors to ensure that Vietnam-Singapore relations in the next 40 years will reach a new height, for the development interests and prosperity of the two nations,” Hau said.
To mark the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, apart from high-ranking visits by their leaders, Vietnam and Singapore plan to break the ground of their fifth industrial park (VSIP5) in the central province of Quang Ngai.
Cultural exchanges include a photo exhibition on the two countries’ relations, art performances by Ho Chi Minh City artists in Singapore and the publication of a joint stamp collection, said the ambassador.
Source: Vietnam Plus