National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim (L) Ngan and Singaporean President Halimah Yacob (Source: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan suggested Vietnam and Singapore maintain meetings and visits at all channels and levels, while joining hands to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2018.

The top Vietnamese legislator made the suggestion during her meeting with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob on November 27 as part of her official visit to the country.

Highlighting the fruitful political ties between Vietnam and Singapore, NA Chairwoman Ngan said progresses have also been made in cooperation in trade, investment, national defence and security, culture and people-to-people exchange.

The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) has become a symbol of successful and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, she said, describing Singapore as Vietnam’s leading trade and investment partner, and a country which has trained many Vietnamese students.

The chief legislator underscored Halimah Yacob’s contributions to legislative ties between Vietnam and Singapore in her capacity as Singapore’s Parliament Speaker in the past, saying the two sides have regularly exchanged high-level delegations, information and experience.

She expressed her hope that President Halimah Yacob will contribute more to the relations between the two parliaments, thus helping deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The NA Chairwoman extended President Tran Dai Quang’s invitation to President Halimah Yacob to visit Vietnam on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2018.

In reply, President Halimah Yacob praised Vietnam’s efforts in successfully hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang from November 6-11.

She also applauded outcomes of cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore across spheres, especially in economy, saying Singapore is Vietnam’s third largest investor.

The President used the occasion to call for Vietnam’s support for Singapore as the rotating Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2018.

Stressing Vietnam’s role in advancing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, Halimah Yacob said concerned parties should continue to concretise the deal for early approval and implementation, thus benefiting Vietnam, Singapore and other signatories.

The President noted her hope that Vietnamese and Singaporean firms will seek business opportunities during NA Chairwoman Ngan’s visit.

She called on the two countries to step up cooperation within ASEAN, informing that ASEAN 1018 will take the theme of resilience and innovation.

Halimah Yacob also underlined the need for ASEAN to enhance intra-bloc cooperation to deal with common issues and speed up the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

She said apart from political, economic and cultural links, people-to-people exchange also plays an important role, adding that many Singaporeans now want to visit Vietnam.-VNA