(MPI) - Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong had a meeting with Jaya Ratnam, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Singapore to Vietnam at the head office of the Ministry of Planning and Investment on November 8th, 2021.
Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong (R) and Singaporean Ambassador Jaya Ratnam (L). Photo: MPI
Ambassador Jaya Ratnam thanked Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong for taking the time to welcome him and said that the bilateral relations between Singapore and Vietnam had always been a long-term, sustainable and increasingly growing relationship. Ambassador hoped that Vietnam and Singapore would continue to promoting cooperation in the coming time as the two economies sought to overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, take advantage of opportunities in the new context, and enter the “new normal”.
The trade and investment cooperation are the key relations between the two countries as Singapore has been the biggest foreign investor of Vietnam in the past two years. Ambassador Jaya Ratnam was pleased to know that Vietnam would host the Ministerial meeting on economic connectivity on November 12th, 2021, especially when Singapore will receive the State visit of the President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the beginning of December 2021. He also informed that this was the first State visit that Singapore would receive since the COVID-19 outbreak.
2023 will mark the 50thanniversary of Diplomatic Relations and the 10thanniversary of the Strategic Partnership between Singapore and Vietnam. Ambassador Jaya Ratnam hoped that the two countries could build a solid foundation to promote the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong at the meeting congratulated Ambassador Jaya Ratnam on receiving his task in Vietnam and believed that he would successfully fulfil his term of office and contribute to better promoting Vietnam-Singapore relations. Deputy Minister agreed that the Ministerial meeting on economic connectivity would be organized virtually, referring to it as an important occasion to further connect and promote the two economies as well as a preparation for the President's visit to Singapore in the coming time. Regarding the context that Vietnam is implementing the 5-year socio-economic development plan for the 2021-2025 period and the expected economic recovery and development program, this will be an opportunity for Vietnam and Singapore to share and discuss some priorities for cooperation.
The first priority is to support for domestic and foreign enterprises, including Singaporean companies working in Vietnam. Enterprises are expected to receive support from the State for business recovery and development, and Vietnam hopes to mobilize possible financial supports from development partners so that they will have the best conditions for re-operation.
One of Singapore’s strengths is its capability of resource mobilization from investment and financial funds. Through the connectivity between Vietnam and Singapore, those funds can clearly understand about Vietnam’s opportunities so as to consider to invest in Vietnam. The priorities of Vietnam for investment are infrastructure development, processing - manufacturing, and technology research and development. Cooperation on industrial park infrastructure investment between Vietnam and Singapore is also thriving, with the Vietnam-Singapore industrial park (VSIP) as an example. Vietnam is currently developing and completing the National Master Plan for the 2021-2030 period, and developing an industrial park network across the country is one of the Strategy’s significant tasks. This will be an opportunity for both sides to step up investment cooperation.
Secondly, the two countries has prioritized on the cooperation on the development of human resources, especially high-quality ones. Singapore is a country where a lot of Vietnamese students currently studying abroad and doing research, and Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong hoped that this force would receive a boost in qualification with an extended choice of vocations while being trained in Singapore.
The third priority is cooperation on innovation. Singapore is one of the leading countries in innovation with high-quality models. Currently, Vietnam has made positive changes when initially establishing the National Innovation Center (NIC). This is a proper orientation for Vietnam in the consideration of science - technology as the motivation for the economic development in the short term and long term. Therefore,Vietnam wishes to receive cooperation from partners, especially Singapore. Fields such as transport, education and training, culture, healthcare, and logistics also need to be promoted to improve Vietnam's competitiveness and attract foreign investment.
Additionally, Vietnam also pays attention to infrastructure development in Asia with cross-border transport infrastructure projects and climate-resilient infrastructure. These are also a critical infrastructure group for the sustainable development in Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta region which is affected by climate change and sea level rise. The Ministry of Planning and Investment will continue closely working with the Ambassador to realize conditions in accordance with Vietnam's development orientation.
Ambassador Jaya Ratnam highly appreciated Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong’s recommendations and stressed that the mentioned areas were also priorities that Singapore focused on developing to support each other. The Ambassador hoped that during the upcoming State visit of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Singapore, some investment projects with integration of infrastructure, innovation, human resources development and sustainable development would be considered.
Ambassador also suggested Vietnam and Singapore strengthen cooperation in the digital economy when the two nations have operational groups exclusively for the complementary development of both economies. Furthermore, Singaporean businesses also greatly concern of traveling between the two countries, especially commercial flights that need to be re-operated with safe and effective reopening in the future.
Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong expressed the gratitude towards Ambassador Jaya Ratnam for his important information and hoped that VSIP projects would be developed across Vietnam, towards the goals of sustainable development and becoming a stable and long-term market for Singaporean businesses. He also hoped that the MPI would receive the assistance from the Ambassador in strengthening comprehensive cooperation between the two nations./.
Ministry of Planning and Investment