Singapore newspaper highlights Vietnam’s success story ahead of ASEAN Summit hinh anh 1A corner of Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – The Straits Times, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore, on November 9 ran an article spotlighting impressive achievements of Vietnam, the Chair of the ASEAN 2020. 

While all eyes are on the ASEAN Summit to be held from November 12 - 15, Vietnam’s economic success story, too, has been the subject of much attention, it said.

The country’s economy has consistently turned in a strong performance in the past decade, growing by 5 percent to 7 percent each year. Foreign investors are especially drawn by its expanding middle class, vibrant private sector and young population. About 70 percent of its 95 million people are younger than 35.

According to the first female Ambassador of Singapore to Vietnam Catherine Wong, for Singapore, economic ties are a "mainstay" of its relationship with Vietnam.

Wong said Singapore is the third-largest foreign direct investor in the country, and this is very significant as the top two investors are the Republic of Korea and Japan, which are far larger economies than Singapore. 

She told the Straits Times that longstanding symbols of cooperation include a 24-year-old Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park joint venture, plus a connectivity framework agreement since 2006 to boost collaboration in sectors such as finance, information technology and transport.

But there are new opportunities, she added, setting her sights on Vietnam's rapidly growing infrastructure, urban solutions, innovation and start-ups, and e-commerce.

Regarding agricultural trade, she hoped to diversify Singapore’s sources of food supply by bringing more Vietnamese agricultural products and seafood into Singapore. 

Touching on Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19, Wong said the Government has taken some tough measures, reacted quickly, and prepared early for possible local infections after the first cases in China emerged. 

The country also developed its own test kits and ventilators, and is working on developing a vaccine, she said.

Vietnam experienced two waves of infections - one in March and April, and a more localised outbreak in Danang city in July and August. But the authorities' swift response and comprehensive lockdown measures put a lid on local transmissions.

For this reason, Singapore was confident in unilaterally lifting border restrictions to its visitors from Oct 8, she said.

Vietnam's borders, however, remain closed. The next step is to see how two-way travel can be eased with health and safety precautions in place, she added./.