President’s Singapore visit reflects importance of bilateral ties: expert hinh anh 1At an enterprise in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Binh Duong province. (Photo: VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s State visit to Singapore from February 24-26 shows the importance of Vietnam-Singapore relations in their foreign policies, an expert has said.

Dr. Le Hong Hiep, an expert of Singapore’s ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)'s correspondents that Singapore is the third country that Vietnamese leaders have visited bilaterally, following the 13th National Party Congress in January 2021, after Cambodia and Laos.

The trip demonstrates the importance Vietnam has attached to its relations with Singapore and vice versa as the city-state has received just a few foreign leaders in recent times, he said, adding that President Phuc is also the first foreign head of state to visit Singapore bilaterally this year.

The visit is expected to deepen the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership, while creating a foundation to foster their cooperation in such areas as tourism, economic recovery post COVID-19, digital economy, cyber security and national defence-security, Hiep said.

According to the expert, over the past more than eight years since the two countries established their strategic partnership, the bilateral ties have developed intensively and extensively, especially in economy.

Last year, Singapore took the lead among 106 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with combined investment amounting to over 10.7 billion USD, accounting for 34.4 percent of the total foreign capital poured into Vietnam. Singapore is also among the top three foreign investors in terms of capital registered in Vietnam so far.

Its projects have played an important role in infrastructure development in Vietnam, particularly in energy and infrastructure at industrial parks, Hiep said, taking Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) as an example.

The expert held that Vietnam and Singapore shared common points in security interests and strategic perceptions, as well as similarities in their views on many regional and international security issues, which have created an important foundation for their collaboration in strategic areas and national defence-security in the time ahead.

Singapore is likely to continue prioritising such cooperation spheres and turn Vietnam into a key destination of Singaporean and international investors, he forecast, noting that there is still ample space for the strategic relations and collaboration in national defence-security to grow further.

The expert expressed his belief that the bilateral cooperation in tourism and education will also further develop after the pandemic.

Hiep also noted his hope for the signing of an agreement or the issuance of a statement during the President’s visit to facilitate the travelling of the two countries’ citizens, helping to boost their economic recovery post COVID-19, especially in investment, tourism and education.

Their partnerships in digital economy, cyber security and national defence-security would also be strengthened if there are more agreements to be reached in these fields, he said./.