July 07, 2023 | 16:30 GMT+7

Strengthening longstanding cooperation between Vietnam & Singapore

Phuong Hoa -

Speakers at the 7th Singapore Regional Business Forum (SRBF) in Hanoi on July 7 identified a host of solutions to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai addressing the forum.
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai addressing the forum.

The 7th Singapore Regional Business Forum (SRBF), with the theme “Strengthening Regional Collaboration for Sustainable Growth”, was held in Hanoi on July 7.

In attendance was Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai, on behalf of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan, and Singaporean Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Tan See Leng.

There were also over 800 business leaders, senior government officials, and diplomats from more than 420 companies and organizations across 32 countries and economies. Close to 550 participants attended the forum in-person in Hanoi, representing more than 150 companies across a wide range of sectors, including Professional Services, Logistics & Transportation, Urban Development, Technological Innovation, and Education.

Addressing the forum, Deputy Prime Minister Khai expressed his appreciation of the fact that Vietnam was the first country outside of Singapore that Singapore chose to host the SRBF. After 50 years of diplomatic relations and ten years of developing a strategic partnership, ties between the two countries are considered dynamic and effective in the Asian region.

He also noted that Singapore is the second-largest investor in Vietnam, with 3,200 projects and $73.4 billion in registered capital. Singaporean entrepreneurs are participating in most sectors and fields in Vietnam’s economy and have seriously implemented projects on schedule and with great efficiency. Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) in cities and provinces around Vietnam are operating effectively and have become symbols of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Vietnamese investors, meanwhile, have funneled capital of nearly $700 million into nearly 150 projects in Singapore, mainly focusing on professional activities and science and technology. In terms of trade, Singapore continues to be one of Vietnam’s leading partners in the region.

According to Mr. Lim Ming Yan, Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, the SRBF helps identify opportunities in digital transformation, innovation, and green energy. The success of the Forum highlights the cooperative relationship between Vietnam and Singapore as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations and ten years of strategic partnership.


Singaporean Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr. Tan See Leng.
Singaporean Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr. Tan See Leng.

Dr. Tan See Leng, meanwhile, said Singapore’s economic relations with Vietnam are strong and substantive, as evidenced by trade and investment figures growing steadily over the past decade, riding on Vietnam’s stellar growth and the vast opportunities presented by the young and vibrant market. “Bilateral trade grew 16.4 per cent to S$31.3 billion ($23.16 million) in 2022,” he said. “On the investment front, Singapore was Vietnam’s second-largest foreign investor as of end-2022, with a cumulated $70.8 billion.”

“Cooperation results have been encouraging but they do not express the full potential of the two countries,” said Deputy Prime Minister Khai. He therefore suggested certain development orientations for cooperation between businesses in the two countries, such as the need to be more proactive with new ways of doing things and properly implementing investment commitments.

Minister Dung said that in order to take advantage of opportunities during the global economic recovery and Industry 4.0, the two sides need to expand their cooperative space in the digital economy and green economy, focusing on areas where they both have strengths, such as innovation, digital transformation, energy transformation, green transformation, green finance, and science and technology.

Dr. Tan See Leng also proposed three areas where Vietnam and Singapore could work hand-in-hand to seize opportunities during the next decade and deepen their cooperation, including innovation, energy connectivity, and sustainability. “As we seek new opportunities in these emerging fields, we will also continue to deepen our multi-faceted connectivity in Trade and Investment, Finance, Transport, Tourism, and Education,” he said.

A total of 12 MoUs were signed at the SRBF between public and private sector organizations in Vietnam and Singapore, including trade associations and business chambers, higher education institutions, and financial institutions.


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