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Vietnamese PM to pay official visits to Singapore, Brunei

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam will pay official visits to the Republic of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam from February 8-11.
PM and his spouse to pay official visits to Singapore, Brunei hinh anh 1
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (Photo: VNA)

The visits will be made at the invitations of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
Vietnam-Singapore relations

Vietnam and Singapore officially established diplomatic relations in 1973. After raising the relationship to a Strategic Partnership in 2013, the relationship between the two countries has grown in a deeper and more effective manner. In over half a century, the relationship between Vietnam and Singapore has become closer, with a high level of trust and cooperation between the two countries, obtaining many positive results.

The two countries are preparing to celebrate their 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties as well as the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their strategic partnership in 2023.

Economic cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore, with notable achievements in recent years, is a typical bright spot in Southeast Asia. Despite the impact of the pandemic, total trade between the two countries still reached 8.3 billion USD in 2021, up 23.3% over the previous year. 

Singapore has always been among the top investors in Vietnam for many years. Singapore is currently Vietnam's largest investor in ASEAN, ranked 2nd out of 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. As of February 2022, Singapore has 2,860 valid projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 66 billion USD. 

Vietnam also has 118 valid investment projects in Singapore, with total registered capital of 498 million USD, focusing on the areas of science and technology, wholesale and retail, repair of cars and motorbikes, information and communication, manufacturing and processing industry, and administrative activities and services in support of real estate business activities.

The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) is a symbol of economic cooperation between the two countries, making an important contribution to Vietnam's socio-economic recovery and development. Singapore ranks third out of 70 countries and territories with its large number of investment projects in industrial parks in Vietnam. Industrial parks across the country have attracted 588 projects by Singaporean investors with total registered capital of about 19.3 billion USD as of the end of 2021.

Singaporean investors also invested in building infrastructure for 13 industrial parks in Vietnam, with a total area of about 7,517 ha by the end of 2021. Industrial parks invested by Singaporean investors have all come into operation, with high occupancy rates, attracting nearly 1,000 projects, including about 80% of foreign investment projects, creating jobs for nearly 300,000 direct workers.

Regarding defence and security, the two sides have maintained high-level delegation exchanges and existing annual dialogue and cooperation mechanisms. Along with the 2009 agreement, which will continue to be implemented, the upcoming defence cooperation agreement will help create a framework for promoting trust and military and defence cooperation between the two countries, contributing to strengthening solidarity within ASEAN.

Cooperation in the fields of finance-banking, education-training and environment between the two countries continues to be strengthened.

In terms of transportation, Singapore is one of the aviation markets of special importance to Vietnam. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, the airlines of the two countries resumed commercial flights on the Hanoi – Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore routes, facilitating the recovery of their tourism sectors and contributing to the post-pandemic economic recovery.

In addition to their bilateral cooperation, Vietnam and Singapore have closely coordinated and supported each other at regional and international organisations and forums such as the United Nations, ASEAN and APEC. The two sides affirmed their determination to actively contribute to building a strong and united ASEAN Community as well as promoting the association’s central role and common voice in regional and international issues.

As members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Vietnam and Singapore have made great efforts to make effective use of the benefits from the new-generation free trade agreements, support the multilateral trading system, and contribute to the post-pandemic economic recovery of the region.

Vietnam-Brunei relations

The two countries established diplomatic relations in February 1992. In June 2000, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Bilateral Cooperation Committee.

In November 2001, they signed cooperation agreements on maritime and trade, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation.

An MoU on cooperation between the two defence ministries was signed during a Vietnam visit by the Brunei Deputy Defence Minister in November 2005.

The two countries inked memoranda of understanding on cooperation in sports and youth affairs, and oil and gas, along with an agreement on double taxation avoidance during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s Brunei visit in August 2007.

Since August 1, 2007, Brunei has waived visa requirements for Vietnamese ordinary passport holders for 14 days and since August 8, 2007, Vietnam has offered visa exemption to Brunei ordinary passport holders for a two-week stay.

In 2013, they successfully piloted a wet rice farming project in Brunei to help the country ensure food security.

In October 2014, Brunei national flag carrier – Royal Brunei Airlines – officially launched a direct flight service linking Ho Chi Minh City and Bandar Seri Begawan capital. Since then, Vietnam has become a favourite tourist destination for Brunei people, bringing the two countries closer.

In April 2017, a working delegation from the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development visited and held a working session with the Brunei Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources to launch agreements on cooperation in agriculture, seafood processing, and fishing in Brunei’s exclusive economic zone.

Also in 2017, the two countries held activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties. Events included the first meeting of the Vietnam-Brunei Bilateral Cooperation Committee which was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Brunei Minister at the PM’s Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade Lim Jock Seng.

On the occasion of the State visit to Vietnam by Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah from March 26-28, 2019, Vietnam and Brunei issued a joint statement on the establishment of Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership.

The two countries’ leaders witnessed the signing of an MoU on the use of a hotline to share information about tackling illegal, unreported, and undocumented (IUU) fishing between the Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Brunei Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism. Both sides agreed to further cement maritime cooperation, including aquaculture and seafood processing, sharing experience and information about law enforcement at sea, and jointly coping with security challenges at sea to ensure maritime safety and freedom.

They consented to promote a balanced and sustainable two-way trade, towards the goal of 500 million USD by 2025. They also agreed to make the most of market access incentives in line with free trade agreements, including promising markets in Brunei–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Mekong Sub-region, as well as create favourable conditions for businesses, promote linkages between their enterprises, join trade fairs and promptly deal with business problems for the benefit of both sides. They committed to close cooperation in agriculture, especially in poultry meat, rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, fisheries, technical capacity and Halal certification for firms meeting international standards to produce food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for export to Islamic markets globally.

In 2021, the two countries pushed forward yearly priority goals, especially response to COVID-19, implementation of the ASEAN Charter, building post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision, and promoting ASEAN’s role in sub-regional cooperation.

In 2022, Vietnam and Brunei are celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

At the invitation of Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid an official visit to Brunei and co-chaired the second meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) in Bandar Seri Begawan from September 6-8.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed to accelerate the building of an action programme implementing the comprehensive partnership for 2023-2027. They also agreed to arrange visits by leaders, materialise signed agreements, extend the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on agriculture and fishery. The two sides vowed to coordinate to cope with traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including trans-national crime, cybercrime and terrorism. They will also step up negotiations of cooperation documents in such areas as the transfer of sentenced persons and crime combat.



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