Vietnam, Singapore seek closer ties

Vietnam attaches great importance to strengthening cooperation with Singapore, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who arrived in Hanoi for a four-day visit January 12.

The two PMs expressed satisfaction at the rapid and positive development of bilateral ties in the five years since the Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Framework was signed.

They agreed to expand the agreement by including some new fields like construction and urban planning.
 
Mr. Dung appreciated Singapore’s efforts to become one of Vietnam’s leading trade and investment partners and called on the country’s Government to continue encouraging Singaporean companies to invest in Vietnam.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) and his visiting Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, inspect a guard of honor in Hanoi January 12. The two sides vowed to expand bilateral cooperation and signed several agreements later the same day.  (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

The two leaders hailed the economic efficiency created by the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks, considering them a symbol of the successful economic cooperation between the two countries.

They are expected to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the Hai Phong VSIP Urban, Industrial and Service Park January 13.

PM Lee, hailing Vietnam’s socioeconomic achievements in 2009, said he believed its economy would continue to grow this year.

The two sides agreed to maintain their close cooperation at regional and international forums like ASEAN, APEC, ASEM, and the UN.

PM Dung congratulated Singapore on successfully completing its 2009 APEC presidency, while Mr. Lee congratulated Vietnam on taking over the ASEAN Chair in 2010 and pledged to support Vietnam in fulfilling its role in the adoption of an ASEAN Charter and strengthening the bloc’s external ties.

After their talks, the two PMs attended an agreement signing ceremony at which the two sides pledged to construct new residential areas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, develop petroleum transport management services, and financially support students at the Hanoi National University.

The State Bank of Vietnam granted Singapore's DBS Bank Ltd. a license to set up a branch in HCMC.

Meeting with the visiting leader the same day, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh said Vietnam has a consistent policy of expanding friendly relations with neighboring countries like Singapore.

Mr. Lee appreciated Vietnam’s successful efforts to tide over the global crisis and maintain growth, and said it would persuade Singaporean investors to continue investing in the country.

Mr. Manh hailed Singapore’s comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam and said Vietnam always strives to create friendly conditions for foreign investors in the country.

By Thanh Nam – Translated by Truc Hung

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