|Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (L) and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (Photo: VNA)
Hosting a reception for Nhan on August 26, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said his country hopes to foster comprehensive cooperative relations with Ho Chi Minh City, a dynamic and innovative city with positive contributions to both Vietnam and the region.
Lee stressed Singapore always values the ties with Vietnam as well as the city, especially when both are members of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, saying he supports bilateral collaboration in the fields of urban develoment and education and training, and asked Ho Chi Minh City and competent authorities of Singapore to work together so as to ink several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the time ahead.
Regarding high-quality human resources training, Lee suggested the Vietnamese southern hub to pen early English language teaching programme for pre-school children.
Nhan, for his part, highlighted that as the leading economic hub in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is facing a wide range of challenges, including urban infrastructure development lagging behind urbanisation pace and population growth, and climate change.
He hoped his Singapore visit will promote cooperation opportunities, helping the city be well-prepared for its development plan in the next 5-10 years.
The official recommended Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore hold conferences on sustainable development of urban areas with focus on climate change issue, and share experience in startup and innovation on a rotary basis.
Lee spoke highly of the initiative and endorsed the organisation of such conferences and also suggested inviting many other cities in the region like Bangkok, Manila and Yangon to join the events.
The same day, Nhan had a working session with leaders of the Ministry of Education, during which he wished to boost education collaboration with Singapore to standardise education managers’ capacity, build international-standard higher education programme, set up laboratories in artificial intelligence (AI), IT and communications, data science, automation and finance. Besides, the city wants to work with Singapore in higher education accreditation.
Meeting with Peter Ho, Senior Advisor at the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF), Nhan said that Ho Chi Minh City is interested in CSF’s study about economic risks, political geography, climate change, food security, diseases and population development.
He expressed his hope that the CSF will give consultation to the city in the fields.
In a working session with the Singaporean Land Transport Authority, Nhan wished to exchange experience in smart transport system planning, construction, operation and management, and study advanced technologies applied in transport management.
Singaporean authorities agreed to promote cooperation in the fields of mutual interest.
In the framework of the visit, Nhan had a working session with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to learn experience on building support policies for startup, and discuss cooperation opportunities between the two sides in the coming time.
On the occasion, the municipal People’s Committee also organised a round-table conference with the Singaporean businesses, which looked to introduce the city’s investment potential, and responding to Singaporean investors’ questions about local tax and land policies as well as investment climate.
At the event, many Singaporean investors spoke highly of the business climate in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, stressing they will expand operation in the Vietnamese city.
During their stay in Singapore, Nhan and the delegation visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore, paid floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his statue, and laid flower at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
They also attended the ceremony to mark 74th anniversary of Vietnamese National Day held by the Vietnamese Embassy.