PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Sinagporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong (Photo: VNA)

Sochi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has met with his counterparts from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in the Russian city of Sochi on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit.

At the bilateral meetings, the three ASEAN countries’ PMs congratulated the newly-appointed leaders of Vietnam and pledged to work with them to bring their nations’ relationships with Vietnam to a new height.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong expressed the delight at the development of the two countries’ strategic partnership. While delegation exchanges have been maintained at all levels, bilateral cooperation mechanisms have greatly helped promote bilateral relations.

Two-way trade rose by 10 percent to 16 billion USD in 2015. Singapore continues to be a leading investor in Vietnam with total capital of 36.5 billion USD. Meanwhile, Singapore’s industrial parks in Vietnam have operated more and more effectively, they noted.

PM Lee Hsien Loong said many Vietnamese agricultural and industrial products are making inroads into Singapore’s market. Additionally, his country remains an attractive destination for Vietnamese students.

At another meeting with Malaysia PM Najib Rajak also on May 20, both sides agreed to expeditiously finalise and sign the agreements on judicial assistance, transfer of convicts, extradition, services, aviation and education.

Vietnam and Malaysia will enhance investment and trade partnerships, along with marine cooperation such as sharing information about and experience in piracy prevention and search and rescue. They will also continue to consider receiving Vietnamese workers in Malaysia.

On late May 19, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a meeting with Thai PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha. They agreed to steer the realisation of the agreements reached at the third Vietnam – Thailand joint Cabinet meeting in July 2015 and the action programme for implementing the strategic partnership for 2014 – 2018.

They pledged to bolster cooperation in security, defence, economics, trade, investment, connectivity, transport and tourism. The two countries will also organise various practical activities to mark the 40 th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties (June 8, 1976).

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc highly valued the Thai leader’s direction in fostering labour cooperation with Vietnam and asked Thailand to provide optimal conditions for labour registration and recruit Vietnamese workers in more sectors.

At the meetings, the Vietnamese leader and his counterparts from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand agreed to intensify solidarity and maintain ASEAN’s central role in major issues pertaining to peace, security, and interests of each country as well as of the region.

They affirmed the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, carrying out the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, pushing for a code of conduct in the waters, and resolving sea disputes on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.-VNA