PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (third, right) at the dialogue (Source: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – The Vietnamese Government has given a range of priorities to foreign investors to develop production and do business in Vietnam, including those from Singapore, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Speaking at a dialogue with 15 chairpersons and CEOs of leading Singaporean groups and businesses on April 27, PM Phuc affirmed that the Government of Vietnam will assign relevant ministries, agencies and localities to coordinate with Singaporean investors to speed up the implementation of their projects in the country.

While applauding Singaporean enterprises which have plans to expand investment in the areas of Vietnam’s priorities, he called on the investors to carry out their projects on schedule, observe Vietnam’s laws and harmonise interests of the State, the investors and people.

Singapore has become Vietnam’s most important economic partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with more than 2,000 projects worth 43 billion USD, and two-way trade reaching 8.3 billion USD in 2017, PM Phuc said.

The government leader noted that Singapore is also a gateway for multi-national groups and international tourists to enter Vietnam, and helps the country get easier access to the world.

PM Phuc briefed the corporate leaders on Vietnam’s business environment which ranked 68th out of 190 countries surveyed by the World Bank, up 30 places as compared with 2012.  The country was placed 55th out of 137 countries in terms of competitiveness in the rankings of the Word Economic Forum, he added.

The PM also cited a fact that 55 percent of the Vietnamese population are using the Internet and nearly 50 percent accessing the social network and around 130 million mobile phone subscriptions as favourable conditions for investors.

Vietnam commits to ensuring political, social and macro-economic stability, creating the most favourable business environment towards standards of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), reducing transactions costs, especially logistic and administrative expenses, and building transparent macro-economic policies, PM Phuc stressed.

The Vietnamese Government always pays attention to policy dialogue mechanisms to clear up concerns of the business community, including those from Singapore, he said.

Speaking at the dialogue, Ho Meng Kit, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), called on Singaporean businesses to scale up investments in Vietnam as the strategic partnership between the two nations is florusing.

The participating corporate leaders highly valued outstanding achievements Vietnam has recorded in economic development, particularly the country’s innovated mindset in building and implementing polices.

They highlighted opener and more favourable investment procedures in Vietnam, which, they said, have help businesses save time and costs.

They told PM Phuc that Singaporean businesses have devised strategies and stand ready to invest in such areas as logistics, renewable energy, software industry, smart city building, education-training, transportation and cruise tourism in Vietnam.

The investors committed to introducing the world’s most advanced technologies to Vietnam through projects, thus helping generate more jobs and incomes for local people.

Earlier the same day, PM Phuc met with Neil McGregor, CEO and President of Sembcorp Industries, one of the leading Singaporean investors in Vietnam, with nine Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) in the country.

The leader lauded Sembcorp’s contributions to the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore, and urged the group to speed up the implementation of sluggish projects in Vietnam, particularly in land clearance, while building more industrial parks in the country’s southern provinces and cities.

Neil McGregor said apart from value chains, Sembcorp aims to develop comprehensive infrastructure and smart cities and invest in renewable energy projects in Vietnam. 

Sembcorp will accompany Vietnam’s socio-economic development cause for a long term, he said, calling for more support from the PM and relevant Vietnamese agencies during the implementation of its projects.-VNA