Singapore continues its close cooperation with Vietnam to realise their bilateral strategic partnership, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.

At a reception for outgoing Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Tran Hai Hau on November 25, the PM affirmed that his country will join Vietnam to contribute to the building of the ASEAN community and speed up negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

He praised Vietnam’s efforts to maintain the macroeconomic stability, curb inflation and address difficulties for the banking system, and said he expects to visit the country again in an early date.

For his part, Ambassador Hau expressed his delight at the rapid and comprehensive development of the bilateral ties over the past three years, with the high-ranking leaders’ decision to upgrade the relations to a strategic partnership in September 2013 during PM Lee’s visit to Vietnam .

He thanked the Singaporean Government and agencies for their support and assistance for the Vietnamese Embassy and expressed his belief that the relationship between the two sides will thrive in all fields, including politics, trade and investment, education-training and people-to-people exchange.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Singapore has enjoyed an annual growth of over 12 percent and is expected to hit 20 percent this year.

Singapore is now the third largest investor in Vietnam with a total investment of 32.6 billion USD.-VNA