Vietnam is still a very attractive location to do business and multinational corporations such as Samsung, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Rebisco have recently made large-scale investments in the country, remarked some presenters at a forum held in Singapore on Oct. 30.

Dr. Francis Hutchinson, coordinator of the Vietnam Forum, held in Singapore on Oct. 30 by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) under the theme “Emerging Business Opportunities”, said in his concluding remarks that some presentations pointed to Vietnam’s advantages as being well-located to act as a transport hub, linking mainland Southeast Asia and southern China with the eastern part of Southeast Asia, and regulatory changes in relations to legal recognition of the private sector and greater openness to trade and investment.

About 100 participants from government agencies, academia, international financial institutions and the private sector shared views on Vietnam’s outlooks in the changing global political and economic landscape; explored trade and investment opportunities from the perspectives of Vietnam and foreign countries; and exchanged experiences and ideas of various socio-economic issues in conjunction with increasing business activities and connectivity in the country.

According to Dr. Francis Hutchinson, presenters also raised recommendations to Vietnam, including state-owned enterprise reform, greater transparency in regulation, increasing the quality of post-secondary education and strategic pursuit of free trade agreements.

In the view of Dr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan, fellow of Regional Economic Studies Programme of ISEAS, to further promote fruits of the Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) which are not only the hallmark of the two countries’ economic relations but also a success story of Singapore’s regionalisation strategies, the Government of Singapore should render more assistance by providing training equipment to the Vietnam – Singapore Vocational College (VSVC) and educating VSVC staff.

He added that the Government of Vietnam should build up business environment conducive to global investors, continue financial market reform that effectively builds up efficiency and private sector participation, and solve some social issues relating to poor education system and income disparities.

Assistant Professor Vu Minh Khuong of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, told Vietnam News Agency’s Singapore-based reporter that speakers at the Vietnam Forum all put forward ideas meaningful for Vietnam and Singapore to study in order to elevate bilateral relations.-VNA