VietNamNet Bridge – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong have agreed to elevate the friendship between the two countries into a strategic partnership. This was announced at talks in Ha Noi yesterday, Sept 11.

Singapore, Vietnam link up strategically


Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (right) meets with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.


The strategic partnership will cover five major contents, including deeper mutual trust in political relations, a boost in economic co-operation, more security and defence links, promoting ties in education, law, health, culture, art and sports, and intensifying co-operation at regional and international forums.

During the talks, which were part of an official visit by the Singaporean leader, Dung said Lee's visit was an important event marking the 40th anniversary of bilateral ties.

Lee praised Viet Nam for its accomplishments in national construction and development and for its increasingly important role in ASEAN, the region and in the world.

The two sides said they were pleased at the strong development of friendship and comprehensive co-operation, which had provided practical benefits for both peoples.

They agreed that the two sides should maintain a regular exchange of delegations at all levels, including those of the two Parties and two legislative bodies, and support the establishment of a friendship association in each country.

They said defence-security co-operation had continued to develop on the basis of the Defence Co-operation Agreement (2009) and the Transnational Crime Prevention Co-operation Agreement signed in 2006 and extended in 2012.


Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.


They welcomed the signing of an agreement on submarine rescue procedures and a Memorandum of Understanding on information exchanges about non-military shipping and maritime activities.

However, both sides agreed that economic, investment and trade co-operation was the main pillar of their relations.

Singapore is among the top investors in Viet Nam. Two-way trade surpassed US$9 billion in 2012 and Singapore now has nearly 1,200 projects worth over $28 billion in Viet Nam.

Lee said he would encourage Singapore's investors to invest in Viet Nam, especially in seafood processing, clean vegetable cultivation and genetic technology.

He also took note of Dung's request for favourable conditions for Viet Nam's exports, including agro-forestry goods, seafood and garment products to enter the Singaporean market.

The two leaders said they were satisfied with the Viet Nam-Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement and the operation of the Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Parks in the provinces of Binh Duong and Bac Ninh and Hai Phong City.

They said they hoped that the fifth, to be built in Quang Ngai Province, would contribute to the development of Viet Nam's central region.

Regarding regional and international cooperation, the two Prime Ministers said they were pleased at the close co-ordination between the two countries in the framework of ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations.

The two sides agreed to work together with other ASEAN countries for the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015, enhancing solidarity among ASEAN members and upholding the bloc's central role in the region for the sake of regional peace, security and prosperous development.

Lee said Singapore would continue to support Viet Nam in the course of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, ensuring that the TPP become a balanced agreement with adequate consideration for the benefits of all members, especially developing countries.

Dung thanked Singapore and other ASEAN nations for backing Viet Nam's bids for a seat in the Human Rights Council for 2014-2016 as well as for non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council for 2020-2021. He also asked for Singapore's support for Viet Nam's candidacy for a seat on the World Heritage Committee until 2017.

The two leaders shared views on the East Sea issue, emphasising the solidarity and positive role of ASEAN and highlighting the association's common principles as mentioned in the six-point Declaration of ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the issue. This laid emphasis on ensuring peace, security, and maritime safety and freedom in the East Sea, resolving disputes by peaceful measures, abiding by international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and seriously and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as working for an early establishment of the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

Lee also met with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who thanked the Government and people of Singapore for supporting Viet Nam, particularly in human resources development and education.

Source: VNS