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Vietnam, Singapore strengthen economic ties on 5 key priorities
Ngoc Mai 18:22, 2023/08/28
Vietnam is dedicated to further enhancing the overall investment climate for foreign investors, especially those from Singapore.

Vietnam and Singapore would continue strengthening bilateral economic ties on five priorities: energy cooperation, sustainable development, infrastructure, digital techs, and innovation.

 Overview of the meeting. Photo: MPI

The viewpoint was shared during the 17th Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Ministerial Meeting held on August 27, co-chaired by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Singapore’s Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Tan See Leng.

All these five priorities, set under the enhanced Singapore-Vietnam Connectivity Framework Agreement (CFA), are signed during the visit of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Vietnam on August 27-29.

The CFA was initially signed by both governments in 2005. This comprehensive cooperation program centered around six areas: finance, education and training, transportation, information and communication technology, investment, trade, and services.

To cultivate new avenues of collaboration between the two nations, Vietnam and Singapore have mutually decided to incorporate two new domains into the CFA: energy cooperation and sustainable development.

The 17th meeting took place at a notably significant juncture, coinciding with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Singapore.

In 2022, the combined import and export volume between the two countries surged to US$9.1 billion, marking an 11.6% increase compared to 2021.

Singapore stands out as a prominent investor in Vietnam, boasting nearly 3,031 valid projects with a cumulative registered capital of approximately US$70.3 billion.

 The VSIP in Binh Duong Province. Photo: VNA

The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) remains a testament to the economic cooperation shared by both nations. These industrial parks span over 7,000 hectares of land, drawing roughly $18 billion in investment capital and generating employment opportunities for more than 312,000 individuals.

In the realm of connectivity, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung highlighted that with regard to investment, Vietnam is dedicated to further enhancing the overall investment climate. This entails refining the legal and regulatory framework for foreign investment and actively supporting Singaporean investment endeavors within Vietnam.

As part of this commitment, Vietnam proposed the transformation of traditional VSIP zones into eco-industrial parks, integrating environmentally conscious, technologically advanced, and energy-efficient elements.

Furthermore, there is an emphasis on expanding investments in strategic domains and priority sectors in Vietnam. These include semiconductor manufacturing, electronics, smart manufacturing, digital technologies, high-tech fields, novel materials, clean and renewable energy, and supporting industries like e-commerce and smart cities.

Singapore is also encouraged to contribute to Vietnam's growth in textiles, furniture production, shipbuilding, industrial infrastructure development, and the chemical, petrochemical, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas sectors.

Turning to education, training, and human resource development, Dung suggested that these sectors are pivotal in nurturing skilled professionals to fuel the economic advancement of both nations. "This is particularly crucial for equipping Vietnam's strategic and managerial workforce for the ongoing digital transformation across various industries," he noted.

In terms of trade, Vietnam reiterated its request for Singapore to consider broadening its import of Vietnamese agricultural products.

In the transportation, tourism, and finance sectors, Vietnam expressed its desire to receive continued assistance from Singapore in bolstering capacities in aviation, maritime, roads, and logistics services tailored to post-sales needs.

Collaborative efforts are sought to explore new travel routes between Singapore and notable destinations in Vietnam. Both nations aim to jointly implement initiatives for promoting tourism and introducing significant shipping partners to advance the tourism sector.

Additionally, Vietnam proposed Singapore's ongoing support in education and finance/banking, with a specific focus on sharing insights about constructing an international financial center.

During the 17th meeting, Vietnam restated its commitment to fostering economic collaboration with Singapore, aiming to strengthen the bilateral partnership.

This strategic approach aligns with the desire to deepen ties between the two nations. Vietnam urged Singapore to actively engage in executing and realizing new initiatives outlined within the CFA. Additionally, Vietnam encouraged Singaporean enterprises to propose fresh collaboration ideas and enhance their investments within Vietnam.

Furthermore, within the conference context, both ministers were present for the signing ceremony of two significant memoranda of understanding. The first was an agreement on innovation cooperation between the Vietnam National Innovation Center and the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Center (ARTC) under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (ASTAR). The second involved a memorandum of understanding between the People's Committee of Vinh Phuc Province and YCH Group Pte. Ltd. from Singapore. This pact focuses on training Vietnamese interns in the realm of supply chain and logistics across both Vietnam and Singapore. Additionally, discussions revolved around collaborative efforts to establish an Innovation Center in Vinh Phuc Province.

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