Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is set to represent the Vietnamese Government in signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the operation principles of the Vietnam-Singapore cooperation centre.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the draft document and assigned Deputy PM Minh to sign the MoU with a representative of the Singaporean Government.

Minh is on an official visit to Singapore from July 30 to 31, which is expected to deepen the cooperative and strategic partnership between the two countries.

The countries founded diplomatic ties on August 1, 1973 and set up a strategic partnership in September 2013 during Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong’s official visit to Vietnam.

They have actively worked to realise the strategic partnership and obtained substantive outcomes in all fields, from politics, security and defence, and economy, to education and training, culture, and people-to-people exchange.

In politics, they have regularly organised mutual visits and meetings at all levels. Their leaders have close relations which have been maintained through high-ranking visits and meetings at multilateral forums.

Meanwhile, economic, trade, and investment ties have developed continually over the past few years.

Singapore has been one of Vietnam’s biggest trade partners since 1996, ranking second amongst ASEAN and eighth in terms of global trade partners. Bilateral trade last year rose by 8.9 percent from 2016 to reach 8.3 billion USD.

Direct investment from Singapore into Vietnam has also been on the rise. The former is now the biggest ASEAN and the third largest international investors in the latter. As of the end of last May, Singapore had 2,048 investment projects worth 43.53 billion USD in Vietnam. Their businesses have been present in 48 of the 63 provinces and cities of Vietnam. –VNA