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Singapore-Vietnam forges closer ties

Updated On: Sep 29, 2006

Economic ties between Singaporeand Vietnam strengthens as Vietnam looks to be ASEAN’s fastest growing economy.

At the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in Ho Chi Minh City, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that bilateral ties have never been stronger. “We have, over the years, developed a relationship that is as broad as it is strong. We look forward to forging an even closer long-term partnership with Vietnam, based firmly on the principle of mutual benefit.”

During PM Lee’s visit a commitment letter was signed to launch VSIP II. VSIP is a flagship project in infrastructure development initiated by the governments ofVietnam and Singaporein 1994 and officially launched in 1996 with the aim to boost Vietnam’s economy and reinforce the region’s global standing as a stable investment hub. Vietnam’s new PM Nguyen Tan Dung had noted that VSIP was one of the most successful of Vietnam’s 135 industrial parks, with investments totaling over US$1.25 billion and employing more than 40,000 workers. He hoped that such joint successes could be replicated in other areas.

“The VSIP and VSIP II are important symbols of the close partnership between our countries. Singaporeis one of the top trading partners in Vietnamand its largest foreign investor,” said PM Lee.

Besides the joint venture, PM Lee also noted the progress made in several areas since the signing of the Framework Agreement on Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity last December. The connectivity agreement is an economic road map to spur cooperation in six key areas - trade and services, investment, education and training, info-comm technology, finance and transport. It has also paved the way for business missions to Vietnam, technical training programmes and tie-ups with educational institutions from both sides.

“We enjoy people-to-people links. More Singaporeans are visiting Vietnam. Vietnamese visitors have grown almost fivefold in the last 5 years. We also have strong educational links with more than 4,000 Vietnamese students in Singapore,” said PM Lee. He later proposed closer cooperation in education and training and promised more investment in Vietnam’s infrastructure, especially in energy and seaports.

Besides the emphasis on bilateral relations and partnerships, PM Lee also stressed the importance of Asean and the goal of Asean integration particularly the development of an Asean economic community. “Even as we strengthen our links with one another, we must also step up efforts to accelerate the integration of the Asean economies. Only then will Asean have a strong body to take off, using China and India as its two wings,” he said.

Sources:

S’pore-Viet ties built by tapping countries’ strengths (Straits Times, 27 September 2006)

SingaporeVietnam economic ties deepen (Straits Times, 26 September 2006)

Strong Singapore-Vietnam ties can only get better: PM Lee (Straits Times, 26 September 2006)

A joint industrial park to be proud of (Today, 27 September 2006)

Strong Singapore-Vietnam ties can only get better: PM Lee (Thanh Nien News, 27 September 2006)

VietnamSingapore eye closer business ties (Thanh Nien News, 26 September 2006)

Vietnam and Singaporelaunch new IP (Viet NamNetBridge27 September 2006)