President Tran Dai Quang (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The upcoming State visits to Brunei and Singapore by President Tran Dai Quang aim to realise the foreign policy set forth by the 12th Party Congress and deepen relations with the two ASEAN member countries.

Vietnam and Brunei established diplomatic ties on February 29, 1992. Since then, the two countries regularly exchanged visits and high-ranking meetings.

Bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation has made big strides with two-way trade jumping from 24.2 million USD in 2010 to 73.7 million USD in 2015. The figure hit 17 million USD as of June 2016.

Vietnam mainly exports seafood and rice to Brunei while importing chemicals from the country.

As of June 2016, Brunei has run 205 projects valued at more than 2.18 billion USD in Vietnam, ranking 18th out of 116 countries and territories investing in the country and fourth among other ASEAN investors, behind Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Vietnam has one project worth 650,000 USD in Brunei, specialising in metals and chemicals.

The two countries also hold a lot of potential for cooperation in fisheries, real estate and education-training.

Of note, they inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on educational cooperation in April 2014. Apart from scholarships granted to Vietnamese students to study in Brunei, the country has also offered oil and English scholarships to Vietnam.

The two sides have also signed a range of agreements and MoUs on affiliation in tourism, aviation and trade.

The President’s trip to Singapore from August 28-30 is crucial and meaningful, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Nguyen Tien Minh.

Singapore is one of the first countries President Tran Dai Quang has visited after he took office, which manifests the importance Vietnam has attached to the country’s role in the region as well as the bilateral ties, the diplomat said.

During the trip, representatives of the two countries’ new leaderships will seek measures to enhance bilateral cooperation and help each other reach their set targets in the time ahead.

The relations between the two countries began in the 1990s and developed into strategic partnership in 2013.

Two-way trade grew 12 percent annually in the past three consecutive years. Singapore now is Vietnam’s third largest investors, just behind Japan and the Republic of Korea, with a total investment at 36 billion USD, Minh noted.

Singapore has prioritised its investments in manufacturing, processing and real estate in Vietnam, he said, suggesting Vietnam seek ways to lure more Singaporean investments in other fields while enhancing the bilateral collaboration in politics, security, national defence, culture and sports.

Mentioning the Vietnam-Singapore Agreement on Economic Connectivity signed in 2005, the ambassador described economic connectivity as a strategic step since the two economies are reciprocal.

Singapore has capital and experience in economic development and nation-building while Vietnam boasts an abundant labour force and rich natural resources, he further explained.

Joining hands with each other, the two countries aim to access not only the respective markets but the ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN’s six partner countries and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements at large, he noted.-VNA