Vietnam-Singapore Bilateral Relations: Traditions, The Present and Toward The Future
Over the past five decades, Vietnam-Singapore cooperation has been constantly cultivated, expanded and comprehensively enhanced in many fields, reaching the current bright stage and opening a promising era for the relationship between Vietnam and Singapore bilateral relations in the near future.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (sixth from right), his spouse (seventh from right) and Vietnamese delegates at the President Ho Chi Minh Monument at the Asian Civilizations Museum next to the Singapore River, on February 9, 2023 (Photo: baoquocte.vn).
Five decades of partnership
Vietnam and Singapore currently have a great relationship based on the basic principles of international relations, mutual respect and support. The two sides have deep political trust for each other with mutual stances on many important international and regional issues, and work together to promote solidarity and the central role of ASEAN.
The annual bilateral trade turnover saw steady growth. Singapore is the country with the largest investment capital in Vietnam from 2020 till now if measured by year. Overall, Singapore is Vietnam' second largest investor with a total capital of more than US $73 billion in more than 3,000 different projects.
The two countries have established many cooperation mechanisms such as bilateral political consultations, ministerial-level meetings on economic connection, as well as cooperation in training and educating officials at all levels. The two countries also signed many Memorandums of Understanding as the foundation for strengthening relations such as the Green Economy - Digital Economy Partnership, Economic and Trade Cooperation, Maritime Cooperation, Education and Training Cooperation, Cooperation on Emergency Rescue… . We are continuing to discuss new forms of cooperation in the future.
People-to-people exchanges between the two countries are vital, reflected in more than 20 round-trip flights per day between Singapore and Vietnamese cities and provinces. Singapore is chosen by tens of thousands of Vietnamese students, graduate students and thousands of Vietnamese workers. Many Vietnamese-Singaporean couples have contributed to tightening the connection between the two countries.
|Head of the Central Organizing Committee Truong Thi Mai (first row, seventh from right) and Vietnamese delegates visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore, in December 2022 (Photo: baoquocte.vn).
Linking a connection
I left for Singapore in June 2021 to take on the task, when the Covid-19 pandemic was near its peak around the globe as well as in Singapore. Witnessing the management of government policies and the shift in the Singapore economy, I am impressed by the planning and discipline, and also the sensitivity and flexibility of the Singaporean Government, businesses and people.
The capability to research and apply advanced science and technology, innovation and creativity also contributes to building Singapore, from a young country with a small scale and population to one of the most developed countries in the world. Currently, Singapore is pioneering in exploring new economic fields such as clean energy, alternative food, digital economy and building a carbon credit market.
These are industries with a lot of potential for development, contributing to solving challenges of global security. I always keep in mind that I will do my best to promote cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore in new areas where the two sides have strengths and potential, making the two countries each other' strong and long-lasting partners.
One of my first official activities as Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore was to offer flowers at Ho Chi Minh Statue. The Ho Chi Minh Statue is located in the open space of the Asian Civilization Museum, under the tree shades, overlooking the poetic Singapore River.
Every time I come to this place, I deeply feel that there is a connection between the two countries from the past to the present and the future. Uncle Ho was in Singapore twice during his journey to save the country. Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and leading Singaporean experts were invited to advise on macroeconomic development strategy whilst Vietnam was in the early years of the revolution.
Over the years, bilateral cooperation has grown substantially, bringing prosperity in each country and general stability to the region. Many Singaporean companies and people found opportunities for business and sustainable development in Vietnam, many visitors considered Vietnam as an ideal destination.
|Ambassador Mai Phuoc Dung at a discussion session of the Singapore Apex Business Summit 2022 (Photo: baoquocte.vn).
The first five decades of diplomatic relations and a decade of the Vietnam-Singapore Strategic Partnership have passed. The two countries are entering a new phase with a rich and curated cooperation and a firm belief in a bright and sustainable future of cooperation, for the common development of Vietnam, Singapore as well as of the region and the world.
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