President hosts Singaporean Foreign Minister hinh anh 1State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has lauded the widespread and effective development of Vietnam – Singapore friendship during a reception in Hanoi on June 21 for Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.

He hailed Singapore as the top investor in Vietnam since 2020 among 70 countries and territories investing in the country.

Vietnam will continue creating favourable conditions and encouraging Singaporean firms to do business in the country, he said.

Balakrishnan, for his part, conveyed the Singaporean President and Prime Minister’s regards to Phuc, and wished to welcome the Vietnamese leader to Singapore soon.

He affirmed the Singaporean Government’s consistent stance on further developing strategic partnership with Vietnam. He also hailed Vietnam’s success in fulfilling the dual goals of controlling COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining socio-economic development, becoming one of a few nations to record positive growth last year with an open economic environment and a trustworthy destination for Singaporean investors.

Highlighting commitment to working closely with Vietnam to ensure sustainable economic recovery after the pandemic, the guest proposed several measures to boost bilateral ties, including establishing a working group to discuss digital partnership platform and the mutual recognition of coronavirus vaccination certificates.

President Phuc suggested both sides facilitate exchanges at all levels in suitable forms amid the pandemic, and proposed ways to effectively realise the Vietnam – Singapore economic connectivity agreement.

According to him, the two countries should enhance cooperation in fields of potential and demand such as renewable energy, petrochemicals, liquified natural gas, high-tech agriculture and support industry, and expand joint work to digital economy and transformation, e-commerce and smart urban development.  

He called for tapping advantages of free trade agreements, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership while stepping up cooperation and information sharing within the framework of ASEAN initiatives on circular economy to ensure green and sustainable development.

The host suggested Singapore continue assisting Vietnam in high-quality human resources training.

The Singaporean minister pledged to push forward fields of Vietnam’s interest, including trade, investment, digital economy, pandemic response and access to vaccines, as well as offer mutual support in multilateral and regional mechanisms.

On the East Sea issue, he stated that Singapore attaches importance to ensuring peace, stability, maritime and aviation security and freedom in the East Sea based on rules, including the 1982 Untied Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Singaporean Foreign Ministry will actively partner with the Vietnamese counterpart to follow leaders’ directions for the sake of bilateral strategic partnership.

On the occasion, the host conveyed his regards to Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and wished to welcome them to Vietnam soon./.