Singapore willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines

Singapore is willing to cooperate with Vietnam in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including accessing the Covid-19 vaccines.
June 21, 2021 | 23:47
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Singapore willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines
FM Bui Thanh Son (R) welcomes FM Vivian Belakrishnan in Hanoi on June 21. Photo: VOV

Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Belakrishnan made the statement during talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on June 21, VOV reported.

The Singaporean diplomat highly appreciated Vietnam’s initial success in realizing the dual goal of epidemic prevention and economic recovery, thereby achieving positive growth in 2020.

Singapore always attaches importance to and wishes to develop friendly relations and effective cooperation with Vietnam, affirmed Belakrishnan.

He said Singapore is willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines and applying high-tech technologies in contact tracing and rapid testing, while agreeing to promote the establishment of a working group to formulate an agreement on mutually recognized vaccine certification.

Singapore willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines
FM Bui Thanh Son and FM Vivian Belakrishnan hold talks in Hanoi on June 21. Photo: VOV

For his part, Minister Bui Thanh Son spoke highly of Belakrishnan’s visit, which he said demonstrates the two sides’ determination to effectively promote the Vietnam - Singapore Strategic Partnership.

Both sides agreed to increase reciprocal visit exchanges and maintain cooperation mechanisms, first and foremost the organization of the upcoming 14th Political Consultation between the two countries’ Foreign Ministries.

The two ministers underlined the need to effectively implement the Vietnam - Singapore Economic Connectivity Framework Agreement, by taking specific cooperation initiatives in the areas of their potential and strength such as logistics, e-commerce, high-tech agriculture, and food processing.

Singapore willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (first from left, front row) and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son sign an agreement on training for senior officials of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 2021-23. Photo: VNA

They described the Vietnam - Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) as an effective economic cooperation model between the two countries, saying such model should be developed focusing on innovation, creativity and environmental friendliness.

Minister Bui Thanh Son suggested that Singapore open its market for a number of key Vietnamese exports such as agro-forestry and fishery products, garments and textiles. He also suggested that both Vietnam and Singapore strengthen chain cooperation in production and processing to bring into full play the potential of each side in order to promote bilateral trade and increase exports to other countries.

Noting that the digital economy is one of countries’ important development drivers in the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the two ministers agreed to promote the early establishment of a technical working group on the platform for digital partners, towards to a bilateral agreement on the digital economy.

They also agreed to implement specific measures to promote cooperation in other important areas such as education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Singapore willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines
Photo: VNA

At their talks, the two FMs discussed international and regional issues of mutual concern and agreed to work together at international and regional organisations and forums such as the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Mekong Sub-region as well as in ratifying and implementing free trade agreements, according to Vietnamplus.

Exchanging views on the situation in the Bien Dong Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea), they agreed to uphold peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the waters in compliance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the Bien Dong Sea (DOC), and build an effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the Bien Dong Sea.

At the end of the talks, the two FMs signed an agreement on training for senior officials of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 2021-23.

The same day, Singaporean Minister Vivian Balakrishnan paid courtesy visits to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Previously, during a reception for newly-appointed Singaporean Ambassador Jaya Ratnam on June 16, Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong lauded the positive development of Vietnam-Singapore relations across spheres over the past time, Nhan Dan reported.

Vietnamese and Singaporean leaders have maintained the exchange of visits, demonstrating the trusted political ties between the two countries, the official said.

He also highlighted Singapore’s successful investment in Vietnam, helping the latter spur its socio-economic development, and suggested the two sides work to improve the quality and efficiency of Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP).

He also rejoiced at the strong development of the bilateral collaboration in education-training, and culture-tourism.

Singapore willing to cooperate with Vietnam in accessing Covid-19 vaccines
Vo Van Thuong, Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat (R) hosts Singaporean Ambassador Jaya Ratnam. Photo: VNA

The two countries should join ASEAN member nations' efforts in settling regional issues in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he said.

For his part, the ambassador spoke highly of the fine development of the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership and noted his hope that the two countries will take measures to enhance the bilateral ties in the time ahead.

He suggested solutions to strengthen bilateral economic links, including improving the operational efficiency of VSIPs and encouraging Singaporean firms to increase investments in innovation, creation and digital economy in Vietnam.

The ambassador conveyed the invitation of Gan Kim Yong, Chairman of the Singaporean People’s Action Party, to the Vietnamese official to hold online talks at an appropriate time.

Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong expressed his delight at the fruitful cooperation between the two Parties over the past time, thanked the invitation and assigned competent agencies to arrange the online talks.

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