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Wednesday, December 1 2021
Tiếng Việt
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Date 12/11/2021-18:02:00 PM
The 15th Vietnam - Singapore Economic Connectivity Ministerial Meeting
(MPI) - The 15th Vietnam - Singapore economic Connectivity Ministerial Meeting (15th CMM) was held virtually under the co-chairing of Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment, and Tan See Leng, the Singaporean Second Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Manpower on the afternoon of November 12th, 2021.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dung gives the opening speech at the Vietnamese point. Photo: MPI

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung congratulated Minister Tan See Leng on his new appointment in the Singaporean Government and hoped that he would continue to supporting the bilateral cooperation relations between Vietnam – Singapore.

On this occasion, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung expressed his gratitude towards Singapore’s valuable support through the timely sponsors of medical equipment and supplies for the fight against Covid-19 which has negatively affected world economy, and that of Vietnam and Singapore in particular. This is a manifestation of the great and close-knit relationship, and strategic cooperation between the two parties.

Despite the great challenges for both nation’s economies caused by the COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020, economic linkage is still a bright spot in bilateral ties. The trade cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore has made positive changes. Specifically, the total export turnover between the two countries reached USD 6.6 billion in the first ten months of 2021, up by nearly 21% over the same period in 2020. Especially in term of investment, Singapore currently has more than 2,700 projects in Vietnam with total investments of USD 63 billion, ranking the first among ASEAN countries and the third of 143 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Singapore’s total registered investment capital in Vietnam reached USD 6.76 billion particularly in the first ten months of 2021, ranking the first among countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Vietnamese businesses have also invested 117 projects with an approximately USD 350 million of total capital in Singapore.

The cooperation in finance and education and training between the two parties are maintained amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam and Singapore are still well cooperating within the framework of ASEAN as well as regional and international forums on the multilateral level. Vietnam and ASEAN member states constantly built a self-reliant and innovative ASEAN, united and promoted the central role in the regional structure, shared and together overcome difficulties caused by COVID-19 as well as regional fluctuations in 2020.

The 15th CMM is an opportunity for the two nations to exchange and propose new specific contents and cooperation. The meeting supports the two sides to achieve the goals of overcoming the crisis posed by the COVID-19, adapting to the new normal, promoting economic recovery, seizing opportunities created in the process of global supply chains restructuring, readying for future challenges, especially when they need to strengthen cooperation in emerging areas such as innovation, sustainable development, digital transformation and human resources training; thereby boosting trade and effective development towards a more balanced direction.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung believed specific orientations would be provided at the meeting so that the agencies of both countries may continue to researching and implementing. The meeting’s outcomes will be a positive factor for the upcoming State visit of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Singaporean Minister Tan See Leng. Photo: MPI

As stated by the Singaporean Minister Tan See Leng, Vietnam and Singapore have an excellent bilateral relations and the economic development has reached trillions of USD in recent years. Singapore is the largest source of foreign investment in Vietnam with the total amount of nearly USD 19 billion. Singaporean businesses still consider Vietnam as an attractive destination for finance, insurance, manufacturing, and other activities such as wholesale and retail amid COVID-19, showing their confidence in Vietnam. There will be numerous potentials for both countries when the bilateral economic relations are further strengthened.

The 15th CMM was held during the ongoing reign of COVID-19 along with its severe impacts on the world economy, such as limitation on traveling and various obstacles related to delay in economic and social development for every country in 2020. Despite the attempts to restrict and overcome COVID-19 of both nations, its prolonged and complicated situation is still being a threat to people’s livelihood as well as economic progress in general, which urges a more close-knit relation between the two for mutual support and solutions for improvement. The meeting is a way to reaffirm the cooperative relationship of Vietnam - Singapore for discussion of ideas and opinions on economic development between the two countries.

At the meeting, the two sides had informed and discussed the achieved results since the 14thCMM held in Singapore in March 2019; and discussed numerous contents to strengthen cooperation in the connected fields and proposed new potential cooperations in innovation.

The two parties affirmed their opinions and interests in economic cooperation to further deepen their dual strategic partnership. They also agreed to make joint efforts to deploy and implement new initiatives within the Vietnam - Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement (CFA); encouraging Singaporean businesses to increase investment in Vietnam, continuing to cooperate in many areas to further tighten economic relations, contributing to the development of the strategic partnership of the two countries.

Do Nhat Hoang, Director General of Foreign Investment Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investmentpresented the bilateral investment cooperation situation and recommendations for its acceleration. The Singaporean businesses and agencies asserted that Vietnam remains an attractive investment destination, such as in infrastructure, startup, innovation, green energy, clean water projects, waste management, and solution provisions as well as green production experience. Vietnam cares about projects that connect and support the domestic private sector, connecting with foreign investors with specific programs and plans to support Vietnamese businesses in digital transformation and capacity enhancement to participate in global value chains. It is also anticipated that Vietnam and Singapore would complement each other to take part in each of its own value chain based on the connection between the two strategic partners.

Regarding information and communications technology, the two parties proposed two new cooperation areas that are in accordance with the national plan on data and artificial intelligence. In particular, cross-border data are the cornerstone between countries, supporting businesses to promote cross-border trade. Regarding artificial intelligence, Vietnam wishes to have opportunities to share experience for AI application, support and cooperate with ASEAN countries when it has been approved at the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting by 2022.

Regarding the finance, the two parties expected to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, finance, customs, and stocks; step up cooperation within the framework of regional and multilateral financial cooperation. Singaporean representatives highly appreciated the relationship between the two parties and among the region, welcoming Vietnam as a member of the Southeast Asia Insurance Fund.

In terms of trade and services, both nations highly appreciated the coordination within the framework of cooperation in tourism, agreeing to further promote tourism harmonizing standards related to cruise ships, and wished to step up boat tours with more cruise ship activities between the two countries in 2021-2022.

In term of innovation, Vietnam hoped to achieve the sustainable development with five cooperation areas: enhancing innovation capacity; supporting businesses in innovation; connecting technology - innovation partners to do the research at the National Innovation Center in Hoa Lac; deploying projects in the field of smart cities (in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang); and establishing a Working Group for innovation cooperation. As stated by the representative of the Singaporean Ministry of Industry and Trade, these are potential areas for research and cooperation and the scope to further strengthen the connection in innovation. For example, Singaporean businesses can support digitization solutions, expansion of innovation platforms and start-ups, and they are willing to share experiences in their efforts of building smart cities, etc.

Photo: MPI

The 15th CMM was a great success with new cooperation plans on innovation towards the goal of bringing efficiency to both sides. Amid the difficult COVID-19 situation, the Governments of Vietnam and Singapore have promulgated appropriate policies for economic recovery in the new normal, as well as suitable and new solutions for collaboration. The COVID-19 pandemic is a pressure for many countries but it also creates new opportunities for development cooperation such as digital transformation and science - technology. The two Ministers acknowledged the achieved results as well as shortcomings and recommendations to meet the needs of each party, and also affirmed to continue closely working to further promote the strategic partnership of Vietnam and Singapore./.

Signed in 2005 by the two Governments, the Vietnam - Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement (CFA) is a comprehensive cooperation programme focusing on six specific areas of Finance; Education and Training; Transportation; Information and Communications Technology, Investment, and Trade and Services.

Bao Linh
Ministry of Planning and Investment

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