State President Truong Tan Sang will pay State visits to Singapore from Sept. 26-28 and Malaysia from Sept. 28-30 at the invitation of Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Malaysian King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Billah Shah.

As Sang’s first overseas trip after he was elected as State President of Vietnam, the visits aim to affirm Vietnam ’s consistent policy of strengthening the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and the two regional countries both bilaterally and at regional and international forums.

Vietnam and Singapore set up diplomatic ties on August 1, 1973. The Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore opened in December, 1991 and the Singaporean Embassy in Vietnam was established in September, 1992.

Since 1996, Singapore has been one of Vietnam ’s largest trade and investment partners, with two-way trade reaching 6.2 billion USD in 2010.

By July 2011, Singapore had 937 valid projects in Vietnam with a total registered investment of over 23 billion USD, ranking third among 92 countries and territories investing in Vietnam . Singapore ’s investment mainly focuses on industry, services, infrastructure and real estate.

Most Singaporean projects have been operating effectively in Vietnam , contributing remarkably to the country’s job generation, exports and economic growth.

Singapore and Vietnam have also seen a close and effective cooperation in health, education, science and technology, and human resource development. The bilateral ties have been expanded to other areas such as finance, tourism, banking and policymaking.

Meanwhile, Vietnam and Malaysia established diplomatic ties on March 30, 1973, and opened embassies in each other’s capital city in 1976.

At present, Malaysia is Vietnam ’s third largest trade partner in ASEAN and the ninth in general. Two-way trade between the two countries has rapidly increased in recent years, reaching 5.5 billion USD in 2010.

Vietnam mainly exports crude oil, rice, coffee and seafood to Malaysia while importing steel, petroleum, plastic materials, machines and equipment, computers and electronic products from the country.

Malaysia now ranks fifth among countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 386 projects capitalised at 18.8 billion USD, focusing on mining and communications.

Vietnam has invested in 7 projects with a total investment of over 812 million USD in Malaysia .

In addition, the bilateral cooperation in labour education, oil and gas, rubber, agriculture, culture, sports and tourism has been developing fruitfully./.