Singapore is the third largest trade partner of Vietnam within the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and its sixth biggest global partner, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh during his working visit to the country on June 9-10.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Singapore was estimated at 3.3 billion USD in the first four months of 2014, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 percent.

Last year, bilateral trade hit 8.4 billion USD, with Vietnam mainly exporting crude oil, computers, electronics and spare parts, equipment, and agro-forestry and aquatic products.

Meanwhile, the country’s primary imports from the market are petroleum, computers, electronics and components, machinery, equipment, and chemical products.

There is large potential for Vietnamese rice exporters entering the Singaporean market – the trading centre within the bloc which enables the shipment of rice to Indonesia, the Philippines and African countries. Vietnamese grain currently accounts for over 20 percent of the market share.

During the Vietnam visit by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2013, both countries agreed on economic cooperation, which has become a cornerstone in the bilateral relationship.

Prime Minister Lee has already noted Vietnam’s suggestions on making it easier for local exporters of agro-forestry-fishery products and garments and textiles to make inroads into the Singaporean market, while supporting Vietnamese firms to join the global market chain at the same time.

Deputy Minister Anh said that to boost agro-forestry-fishery exports, his ministry has exerted every effort to remove trade and technical barriers during the negotiation process of free trade agreements (FTA), such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).-VNA