The legislative bodies of Singapore and Vietnam are enjoying a warm and friendly relationship, Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Halimah Yacob told the Vietnam News Agency.

Besides bilateral visits, parliamentarians regularly meet and maintain contact with each other at international and regional parliamentary conferences, such as the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), she added.

She affirmed that her Vietnam visit from April 2-4 will be another manifestation of the partnership.

During her stay, the speaker plans to hold talks with her Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Sinh Hung and meet with State President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan and National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

She will also visit the NA Plenary Hall and the Women’s Museum in Hanoi to gain a deeper understanding about various aspects of Vietnam, particularly the role of women in society.

The top legislative representative highlighted the strategic partnership between the two countries, which was elevated during Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official visit to Vietnam in 2013.

Yacob stated the strategic partnership declaration was not only a milestone for the deepening ties, but also a commitment from the two countries to continue to work together bilaterally and regionally in a wide range of areas.

She continued, noting the people-to-people ties have grown rapidly and hoped it was only the beginning of a trend. Each year, Singapore welcomes Vietnamese tourists and students to its shores. Through the Singapore Cooperation Programme, the country has helped train more than 14,000 Vietnamese officials thus far.

An increasing number of Singaporeans are choosing Vietnam as their holiday destination thanks to improved flight connections.

Vietnam and Singapore are building on their strong economic links as bilateral trade has doubled since 2005 to reach 20.3 billion SGD (14.8 billion USD) in 2014.

Singapore remains one of Vietnam’s top three foreign investors with a cumulative investment of 32.7 billion USD. Several Singaporean companies like Sembcorp, Capital Land, Keppel Land and Mapletree have been operating in Vietnam for many years and have contributed to shaping Vietnam’s urban and industrial landscapes, she said.

The speaker also took the occasion to appreciate the messages of condolences from Vietnamese leaders and people over the death of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew, particularly Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s presence at the State funeral service for the deceased on March 29.

She said she looks forward to many more decades of close ties and strong cooperation between the two countries.-VNA