Mr. Jaya Ratnam, Ambassador of Singapore to Vietnam (Photo: baodautu.vn)
According to the ambassador, Singapore and Vietnam have a strong and long-standing partnership, rooted in close political ties and shared interests. The extensive cooperation on the bilateral level and in multilateral forums is reinforcing each other. This can be seen clearly in the economic relationship - a major pillar of the ties between the two countries.
Bilateral trade has grown steadily over the past decade, reaching SGD22.7 billion (USD16.8 billion) in 2020. This was even achieved amid disruptions in global trade caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Singapore has become the largest source of foreign direct investment into Vietnam in 2020 and the first half of 2021.
The strong relationship between Singapore and Vietnam has been built for several decades as they become close partners. This year, the two countries celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Vietnam - Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in Binh Duong Province. Today, there are larger VSIPs in more than 7 different locations in Vietnam. In total, VSIPs have attracted USD14 billion in investment and created more than 270,000 jobs in Vietnam.
VSIP is a demonstration of the close economic relationship between the two countries. In the future, VSIPs will continue to expand their presence throughout Vietnam.
Both countries are adjusting their economic cooperation to their growing interests and needs. The Framework Agreement on Economic Connectivity between Vietnam and Singapore, established in 2006, covers six areas of education and training, finance, information technology and telecommunications, investment, trade and services, and transportation.
SC Vivo City project of a joint venture between Saigon Co.op and Mapletree (Singapore) (Photo: baodautu.vn)
At the most recent 14th Connectivity Ministerial Conference in 2019, the two countries agreed to expand several areas of the Connectivity Framework, including innovation, technology and start-up.
The bilateral economic relationship is reinforced by the fact that Singapore and Vietnam share the same view on the need to pursue deeper regional and international economic integration. For example, they have worked closely within ASEAN to promote the ASEAN Economic Community, including the time during Vietnam's presidency of ASEAN in 2020.
Both countries strongly support next-generation free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). They are also the only two ASEAN countries that have free trade agreements with the European Union. In addition, after years of painstaking negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed under the chair of Vietnam in ASEAN last year.
This clearly demonstrates Vietnam's commitment to promoting greater regional economic integration - a commitment that Singapore shares. Both countries also actively cooperate in major multilateral groups such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)./.