Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with representatives from several leading Singaporean businesses on September 14 as part of his three-day official visit to the Southeast Asian country.

The General Secretary praised the contributions made by Singaporean businesses when promoting trade and investment between the two countries, while underlining Vietnam ’s commitment to facilitating overseas companies to establish long-term business in the country.

He asked Singaporean businesses to step up cooperation with their Vietnamese partners and facilitate Vietnam ’s agricultural and aquatic exports to third markets via Singapore .

He stressed that more cooperation was needed in food imports and exports, which would allow Vietnam to assist Singapore ensuring its food security.

Both countries need to be more active when it comes to proposing new areas of cooperation, along with traditional areas. They also need to define future potential areas where major projects like the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), can be initiated.

The Party leader also noted that the two countries’ leaders’ plan of lifting bilateral ties to strategic partnership in 2013 will create a new driving force to elevate the two countries’ relations, particularly economic, trade and investment linkages.

The Singaporean business executives said they were committed to working closely with the Vietnamese Government and their partners to expand their investments in the country.

They asked that the Vietnamese Government continues to provide the right conditions and support for Singaporean firms to have long-term business operations in Vietnam , particularly on issues relating to land policy, recruiting personnel and developing local infrastructure.

Later, Trong visited and delivered a key speech at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, where he underlined that Vietnam is keen to learn from Singapore ’s experience in introducing investment policies for education and training, as the country sees human resources as essential for national development.

Regarding the recent developments in the East Sea , the Party leader said that Vietnam will stick to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the agreement on fundamental principles guiding the settlement of issues at sea.

The country has pledged to join in ASEAN’s efforts to promote negotiations with China in line with the spirit of the six-point declaration on the East Sea made by ASEAN’s foreign ministers, he added.

Vietnam has requested that countries respect its legitimate interests, including its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its continental shelf and economic exclusive zone as stated in international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, he stated.

During his speech, Trong highlighted ASEAN’s achievements over the past 50 years as well as its future challenges and opportunities, stressing that it was essential build a united and strong ASEAN Community for Southeast Asia of peace, stability, cooperation development and prosperity.

The Party General Secretary’s official visit to Singapore was made at the invitation of Singapore ’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also the Secretary General of Singapore ’s People’s Action Party.-VNA