Prime Minister Leaves for Official Visits to Singapore, Brunei
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his wife Le Thi Bich Tran and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation left Hanoi for an official visit to the Republic of Singapore. Photo: VGP|
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam left Hanoi at noon on February 8 for official visits to Singapore and Brunei from February 8-11.
The visits are made at the invitations of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
This is the first trip to the two countries by Chinh in his new position, and also the first to Singapore by a head of the Vietnamese Government over the past five years, and to Brunei over the past 15 years.
Accompanying Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse were Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son; Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Tran Van Son; Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung; Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien; Chairman of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises Nguyen Hoang Anh; Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien; Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phuoc Dung, Deputy Chief of Office of the Party Central Committee Bui Van Thach; Deputy Minister of Public Security Major General Le Van Tuyen; Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do.
PM Chinh and his entourage are scheduled to visit Singapore from February 8-10, and Brunei from February 10-11, aiming to strengthen bilateral ties with the two nations, and enhance cooperation in regional and international issues of mutual concern, including coordination in ASEAN and regional and international forums and organizations.
The visits are expected to deepen the strategic partnership with Singapore, an important economic partner of Vietnam, and the comprehensive partnership with Brunei, also a promising economic partner.
This year, Vietnam and Singapore will celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of the bilateral comprehensive partnership. Meanwhile, Vietnam and Brunei marked the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic ties last year.
|At the send-off ceremony. Photo: VNA|
According to the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoT), Vietnam’s export to Singapore grew stably in 2018-2021, and Singapore remains Vietnam’s fifth biggest trade partner in ASEAN and the 15th in the world.
The two-way trade reached USD 9.1 billion last year, up 11.6% from 2021, of which Vietnam’s export was valued at 4.3 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 9.4%, the agency said.
Among Vietnam’s export items, high-quality processed products made up 67-76%, while mineral materials accounted for 5.5-13%.
Meanwhile, the country mainly imported computers, electronics and spare parts, cosmetics, plastics, machinery and other accessories from Singapore.
The island state leads ASEAN and ranks second among the 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 3,032 valid projects worth USD 70.39 billion.
At present, 12 Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks in nine Vietnamese cities and provinces have an occupancy rate of around 83.2%, attracting USD 17.6 billion for some 900 projects and generating roughly 300,000 jobs.
PM Chinh’s visit to Singapore aims to lift Vietnam-Singapore economic connectivity to a greater height in the context that a series of new-generation free trade deals joined by the two nations have taken effect, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Meanwhile, two-way trade between Vietnam and Brunei hit 725.8 million USD in 2022, up 134% year-on-year, surpassing the goal of USD 500 million set for 2025 by their leaders.
In the near future, the two sides hope to boost joint work in promising areas such as agro-forestry-fisheries, Halal food, construction, infrastructure, and joint ventures.
As of December 2022, Brunei ranked 26th out of the 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 157 valid projects valued at USD 971 million, mostly in industry, manufacturing and processing, construction and real estate. The southern province of Dong Nai was the biggest recipient of its investment capital, followed by Binh Duong, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Long Anh, Thai Binh, and Phu Tho.
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