Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is in Singapore for the 12th Shangri La Dialogue, on May 31 paid a courtesy call to the host country’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam and met its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

President Tony Tan affirmed that Singapore attaches much importance to and highly values the role that Vietnam plays in the region. He recalled good memories of his visit to Vietnam in April 2012, expressing wish that the Vietnamese people will harvest greater achievements in their national construction and development.

The leaders expressed their delight at the developing friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries over the past years, especially when Vietnam and Singapore are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1973-2013) and looking towards the establishment of a strategic partnership.

The two sides also pledged to continue strengthening cooperation at regional and international forums for the interests of each country’s people as well as for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Meeting with PM Lee Hsien Loong, PM Dung thanked his Singaporean counterpart and the organisers of the 12th Shangri La Dialogue for inviting him to deliver a keynote address at the event. He spoke highly of the significance of the dialogue, describing it as a chance for Vietnam to share its views on regional and international security issues.

The two PMs said they are pleased with the strong, rapid, dynamic and effective development of the comprehensive cooperation between the two countries during the past time.

Singapore has always been one of Vietnam’s leading investors and trade partners despite the gloomy global and regional economic situations, they noted, citing that two-way trade has increased year on year, hitting 9.6 billion USD in 2012.

Singapore businesses now have 1,173 projects in Vietnam with a total registered investment of 27 billion USD. In particular, the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) has been a success and expanded to Vietnam ’s northern and central regions.

The two sides confirmed that they will further promote cooperation in the areas of defence, security, culture, education, construction and tourism.

They also applauded relevant agencies of both sides for completing a Joint Statement on the establishment of the strategic partnership, which is expected to be signed during PM Lee’s visit to Vietnam later this year.

Both sides agreed to continue working closely in the negotiation process for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

Besides, the two PMs also discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern. They agreed that ASEAN should exert more efforts to maintain internal solidarity, while nurturing a high political will to successfully build an ASEAN Community by 2015 and promote its central role.

Regarding Vietnam ’s message to the 12 th Shangri La Dialogue, PM Dung shared the main contents of his speech at the dialogue, which calls upon all countries to respect international law and together build strategic trust for peace and prosperity of the whole Asia-Pacific region.

Both the Singaporean President and Prime Minister lauded and agreed with Vietnam’s viewpoint, which they said is suitable and crucial to the current general situation in the region, practically contributing to an Asia-Pacific region of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

Concerning the East Sea issue, the Singaporean leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea, while sharing the same opinion that all relevant parties should act with restraint and settle all disputes peacefully in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles on the East Sea issue, looking towards the early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On the occasion, PM Dung and his Singaporean counterpart witnessed the granting of a supplementary licence of the Dung Quat Thermal Power Plant project in Vietnam’s central Quang Ngai province to Singapore’s Sembcorp Group.

With total investment of around 2 billion USD, the plant has a capacity of 1,200 MW and is being constructed in the Dung Quat Economic Zone. This is the second project funded by Sembcorp in Quang Ngai.-VNA