Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has successfully concluded his official visit to Singapore and Brunei at the invitations of Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong and Bruneian Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. The visit helps to continue further strengthening and deepening the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership and the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership.
STRENGTHENING STRATEGIC COOPERATION WITH SINGAPORE
The positive development in Vietnam-Singapore relations on both the bilateral and multilateral bases in recent times was affirmed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Singaporean leaders at the talks and meetings within the framework of the Vietnamese leader’s visit to Singapore.
The two countries maintained high-level exchanges and contacts immediately after reopening in 2022, helping strengthen trust, and pave the way for cooperation for recovery and development; contributing together to build an independent and self-reliant economy, associated with extensive international integration.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's visit is an important opening event for the activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the partnership this year between the two countries, contributing to making Vietnam-Singapore ties grow stronger and more practical.
Effective implementation of cooperation pillars
Expressing pleasure over the strong and dynamic developments of the Vietnam-Singapore relationship in various fields, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Singaporean leaders agreed on the focus of cooperation between the two countries in the coming time.
To further deepen the pillars of cooperation, the two sides agreed to strengthen political trust, and maintain high-level exchanges and contacts, across all channels.
As a bright spot in Vietnam-Singapore relations, the economy is an area that both sides agreed to constantly promote.
Accordingly, the two sides will effectively implement cooperation agreements, including the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the green-digital economic partnership between Vietnam and Singapore, which has been signed on the occasion. In addition, the two countries will facilitate cooperation in new and potential fields, such as digital, green and circular economy, innovation, clean energy and the fight against climate change.
These are potential areas that can become the driving force for the development of countries, in the new context.
This is also the time when we must strengthen cooperation to overcome difficulties in the spirit of winning together, turning risks into opportunities, harmonising benefits, and sharing risks.
Talking to senior leaders and leading businesses in Singapore, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested that Singapore increase imports of agricultural products, seafood, and textiles from Vietnam, and facilitate Vietnamese goods into the distribution system of Singapore.
The Prime Minister also affirmed that, with a stable political system and an increasingly improved investment environment, Vietnam welcomes and creates favourable conditions for Singaporean businesses to expand their investment in Vietnam, especially in the fields of digital transformation, green energy, science and technology, and innovation.
The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) is a model of successful cooperation between the two countries. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed, that Vietnam encourages Singaporean businesses to expand and promote VSIP towards green, smart and energy-saving industrial parks, and at the same time opening more VSIP in remote localities, to support Vietnam in fostering even development across the regions.
Expressing his thanks to Vietnam for approving the investment of VSIP Nghe An II, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supported Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s proposals on opening more VSIPs in localities.
To facilitate the implementation of cooperation fields between the two countries, the two sides agreed to consider upgrading their cooperation mechanism.
Cooperation fields such as defence-security and tourism will also be promoted.
Besides, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked Singapore to increase support for Vietnam’s development and improve the quality of human resources, and soon sign a labour cooperation agreement between the two countries.
On the occasion of the visit, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of cooperation documents between the two countries. This is the basis for the two sides to implement cooperation in specific fields in the coming time.
Cooperation documents were signed and exchanged:
- A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Green-Digital Economic Partnership between Vietnam and Singapore.
- A Memorandum of Understanding between the two Ministries of Industry and Trade, on a cooperation plan in economics and trade.
- A Memorandum of Understanding on youth cooperation between the National Committee on Youth of Vietnam and the National Youth Council of Singapore.
- A Memorandum of Understanding on maritime cooperation between the Vietnam Maritime Administration and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Regarding regional and international issues, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Singaporean leaders pledged to promote cooperation within the framework of multilateral forums, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the United Nations.
The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to build a stable, united and strong ASEAN Community.
The two sides also agreed to promote cooperation and contribute to ensuring the central role and common stance of ASEAN in regional and international issues, including the East Sea/South China Sea issue.
The Vietnamese community in Singapore has more than 15,000 people, the majority of whom are students and intellectuals. Within the framework of the visit, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met with the staff of Vietnamese representative agencies and the Vietnamese community in Singapore.
At the meeting, the government leader affirmed that the Party and State always regard the overseas Vietnamese community - including those in Singapore - as an inseparable part of the great national unity bloc and a driver of the country’s development.
Expressing his pride in the Vietnamese community in Singapore, PM Chinh wished and believed that the community will become stronger and be able to safeguard and promote the Vietnamese identity and capability.
The Party and State have no higher goals than firmly defending national independence and freedom, building the country to be stronger and more prosperous, and making the people - including the overseas Vietnamese community - wealthier and happier.
Thanking the Party and State’s special attention, representatives of the Vietnamese community in Singapore express their wish to further step up the activities that connect the Vietnamese community in Singapore with the country, so that they could join hands in building a great national unity bloc and contribute to the country’s development.
As Vietnam and Singapore are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties and 10 years of their strategic partnership in 2023, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expressed his hope that the community will be a friendship bridge between the two countries, helping to make Vietnam and Singapore stronger and wealthier.
Fostering a bilateral relationship based on cultural exchange and people-to-people exchange is also an area agreed upon by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Singaporean leaders, to promote in the time ahead.
Some main activities of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Singapore
PROMOTING COMPREHENSIVE COOPERATION WITH BRUNEI
Within the framework of his official to Brunei, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, both expressed their pleasure at the upgrading of the two countries’ relationship to a comprehensive partnership in 2019 and the great development of their bilateral relations.
PM Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that Vietnam’s consistent policy always attaches importance to enhancing its comprehensive partnership with Brunei.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also stressed that Brunei always treasures and wishes to keep developing its partnership with Vietnam, especially in economy, trade, investment, education and agriculture.
Strengthening the linkage between the two economies
Over the past years, the Vietnam – Brunei comprehensive partnership has developed effectively in all fields, from politics, security and defence to economy, trade, investment, maritime cooperation, energy, education and training.
Based on these achievements, PM Pham Minh Chinh and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah highly agreed on directions to enhance cooperation between the two countries, in various fields in the near future.
In particular, the two sides continue to promote exchanges and contacts at high levels and all levels, effectively carrying out the ministerial-level Bilateral Cooperation Committee and important cooperation agreements, especially the Action Plan on the implementation of the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership for the 2023-2027 period, which was signed on the occasion.
The Action Programme will help the two sides implement synchronously and methodically their bilateral cooperation in all fields of mutual interest, in the next 5 years.
In recent years, trade cooperation between the two countries has made great progress. Their two-way trade turnover reached 725.8 million USD in 2022, up 134% compared to 2021.
Therefore, the two leaders pledged to boost trade growth in a more diverse and balanced direction, as well as consider the possibility of establishing a joint venture on the exploitation, cultivation and processing of aquatic products.
The two sides also agreed on seeking opportunities in new cooperation areas such as the digital economy, circular economy and climate change response.
PM Chinh suggested Brunei create favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to enter the country, especially rice and farm produce, meeting Halal standards.
He also committed all possible support for Brunei enterprises to expand their investment and business in Vietnam.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh proposed that the two sides strengthen linkages to connect the two economies to support the building of an independent and self-reliant economy, associated with extensive, substantive, and effective international integration.
The Vietnamese leader expressed his belief that trade and investment cooperation will continue to be an important pillar of the Vietnam-Brunei relationship and a driving force to lift bilateral ties to a greater height.
In addition, the two sides also agreed to bolster ties in other important fields such as defence, security, and maritime cooperation, including effectively maintaining a hotline to support fishery activities and sharing information regarding law enforcement at sea.
This should be done whilst simultaneously stepping up cooperation in education-training, and tourism, enhancing connectivity and increasing the frequency of direct commercial flights.
Cooperation documents were signed and exchanged
- The Action Plan on the implementation of the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership for the 2023-2027 period.
- A diplomatic note on visa waivers for diplomatic and official passport holders between Vietnam and Brunei.
Brunei is a country associated with an important international integration milestone of Vietnam, with Bandar Seri Begawan being the place where Vietnam officially became the seventh member of ASEAN, back in July 1995.
Since then, Vietnam and Brunei have taken on important roles in ASEAN. In 2020 and 2021, Vietnam and Brunei successfully assumed the role of ASEAN Chair, respectively.
At the meeting with Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highly appreciated Brunei's term as Chair of ASEAN, as well as the close coordination between the two countries when Vietnam took on this responsibility.
Discussing regional and international issues, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, agreed to continue to strengthen consultation and close coordination between the two countries at multilateral organisations and forums, while preserving solidarity and promoting the central role of ASEAN.
The two leaders also reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, safety, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, jointly maintaining ASEAN's solidarity and common stance on the East Sea issue, and striving for progress in negotiating a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Building Bridges of Friendship
Vietnam and Brunei celebrated the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2022. Having just passed this important milestone, the two sides continue to promote the building of friendship bridges between the two peoples.
Although not large, the Vietnamese community in Brunei is operating in a variety of fields, such as education, trade, and business.
The community has always united, organised and participated in many meaningful activities, making positive contributions to the relationship between the two countries.
During his official visit to Brunei, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had a meeting with officials and employees of representative agencies and the Vietnamese community in Brunei.
The Prime Minister suggested they continue to comply with local laws, preserve cultural identity and traditions, promote solidarity and organise more meaningful activities, acting as a bridge in the relationship between the two countries.
The overseas Vietnamese community is an integral part of the great unity of the Vietnamese nation.
As one of the symbols of cooperation between Vietnam and Brunei, in the field of education and training, the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has recently added Vietnamese into its curricula, apart from other foreign languages.
Visiting the UBD within the framework of his visit to Brunei, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visited and exchanged views with students of the Vietnamese language class.
PM Chinh wished that the contingent of Vietnamese teachers at the university would grow in numbers, while the Vietnamese class students would soon become fluent in using the language, becoming messengers of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.
Some main activities of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Brunei
Substantial results achieved during the visit of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation created a new impetus to promote cooperation between Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei, to develop widely across all fields. The visit also actively contributed to the consolidation of solidarity in ASEAN, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development, in the region and around the world.
Production manager: CHU HONG THANG
Content: NINH SON - NHU NGOC
Sources: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, VNA
Photos: VNA, VGP
Design: PHUONG NAM - PHAN ANH