|Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung (L) and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
At the event, Deputy FM Nguyen Quoc Dung and Permanent Secretary of the Singaporean Foreign Ministry Chee Wee Kiong discussed bilateral ties alongside regional and international issues of shared concern and consented to exert combined efforts to continue fostering their strategic partnership.
Both sides pledged to strengthen the two economies’ connectivity, actively contribute to ASEAN’s solidarity and centrality, and step up coordination in strategic issues amidst complex developments and growing trade frictions in the region and the world.
They agreed upon a score of specific measures to further propel Vietnam-Singapore cooperation in the time ahead, including intensifying all-level mutual visits and meetings through all channels- their parties, states, governments, parliaments and peoples- while maintaining and effectively bringing into play bilateral cooperation and consultation mechanisms.
The two sides will work hand in hand to carry out the outcomes of the 14th economic connectivity ministerial meeting held in Singapore in March this year, particularly in finance, information – communications, education – training, transport, investment, trade and services, so as to build on the recent economic partnership results.
Singapore is currently the third biggest foreign investor in Vietnam with more than 2,000 valid projects worth close to US$50 billion. Notably, the seven Vietnam – Singapore industrial parks (VSIP) have remarkably contributed to Vietnam’s socio-economic development and generated huge economic benefits for Singaporean businesses, they said.
Deputy Minister Dung called for greater joint efforts to promote the two economies’ complementarity, provide more favourable conditions for Vietnamese and Singaporean goods to enter each other’s markets, and effectively realize the commitments under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Permanent Secretary Chee expressed a desire to bolster cooperation in security, agricultural product trading, tourism, people-to-people exchange, and especially the new and important spheres of the Fourth Industrial Revolution like startup, smart city, financial technology and cyber security.
The two officials also glowingly spoke of the outcomes of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held recently in Bangkok, Thailand.
Concerning the recent developments in the East Sea, the two sides underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters.
They also urged the parties concerned to exercise self-restraint, not threaten to use or use force, settle disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and expedite negotiations to soon finalise an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law.
Deputy FM Nguyen Quoc Dung was appreciative of Singapore’s stance on the East Sea issue which demonstrates its sense of responsibility and active role towards peace and stability in the region, as well as the solidarity and strength of the ASEAN Community.
The two sides also showed their elation at the fruitful cooperation between the two foreign ministries, which has greatly help foster the two nations’ strategic partnership.
The 13th political consultation is set to take place in Vietnam next year.
During their stay in Singapore, the Vietnamese delegation met with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who underscored the significance of the countries’ strategic partnership to each side along with the solidarity and development of the ASEAN Community.
Both sides have seen the bilateral friendship and cooperation further grow for decades, he added.
The Singaporean diplomat applauded Vietnam’s development achievements and its growing international stature while voicing his confidence that the country will outperform when assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.