Ties with Malaysia, Singapore thrive hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the sidelines of the 26th ASEAN Summit (Photo:VNA)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s upcoming trip to Malaysia and Singapore is expected to give a new boost to the friendship and thriving cooperation between Vietnam and the two ASEAN fellow countries.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties on March 30, 1973, Vietnam and Malaysia have maintained regular exchanges of delegations and high-level meetings, with the latest being a meeting of the two Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the 26 th ASEAN Summit last April.

Malaysia has become Vietnam’s ninth biggest trading partner with bilateral trade turnover reaching 8.1 billion USD in 2014.

Main trading products between the two countries are crude oil, rice, coffee and seafood on the Vietnamese side, and steel, petroleum, vegetable oil and animal fat, plastics, machines, computers and electronics on the Malaysian side.

As of April 2015, with 493 projects worth 10.8 billion USD, Malaysia ranked eighth out of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Vietnam is also running 11 projects valued at over 800 million USD in total in Malaysia.

Bilateral cooperation in other fields such as education, culture, sports and tourism has also reaped significant outcomes.

Remarkably, the two countries’ collaboration in national defence has developed both bilaterally and within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), bringing practical benefits to each side.

Vietnam and Malaysia opened defence attaché offices in the respective countries in 1998 and signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral defence cooperation in 2008.

Cooperation in labour also has also been prominent; about 60,000 Vietnamese labourers are currently working in Malaysia.

Vietnam and Singapore set up diplomatic relations on August 1, 1973. The island nation has emerged as Vietnam’s third largest trading partner in the ASEAN and eighth in the world with trade value hitting around 9.8 billion USD last year and 4.5 billion USD in the first five months of this year.

By the end of 2014, Singapore’s direct investments in Vietnam stood at 33 billion USD with 1,405 projects. Real estate, processing, manufacturing and construction have drawn the most attention of Singaporean investors.

The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks have been established in all three regions of Vietnam, evidence of the effectiveness of Singaporean investment inflow.

The Singaporean Government grants about 15 scholarships to Vietnamese students annually. In 2014, Singapore placed fifth among top destinations for Vietnamese students, with 8,500 choosing the island country.

Meanwhile, more and more Singaporeans are travelling to Vietnam, with 202,436 visiting last year, representing a year-on-year rise of 4 percent.

The number of Vietnamese visiting the island nation is also on the rise, reaching 380,000 in 2013, up 4 percent against the previous year.

The two countries have also enhanced collaboration in national defence and security with regular exchanges and the signing of many agreements.

Bilateral cooperation has expanded to finance and justice with positive progress.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will pay an official visit to Malaysia from August 7-8 and then travel to Singapore to attend a ceremony marking the island country’s 50th Independence Day at the invitation of his Malaysian and Singaporean counterparts Najib Razak and Lee Hsien Loong.-VNA