Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Singapore agreed on a host of concrete measures to bring their relationship to the next level in the time ahead during the tenth political consultation of their foreign ministries in Singapore on November 22.

Accordingly, the two sides will maintain regular exchanges of all-level delegations and meetings via channels of their Parties, States, Governments and parliaments, as well as people-to-people exchange, giving attention to the official visit to Vietnam by Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong in 2017.

They will also join hands in materialising the outcomes of the 12 th Singapore-Vietnam Economic Connectivity Ministerial Meeting which took place in Singapore last September, focusing on the six areas of finance, information-communication, education-training, transportation, investment, trade and services.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Dinh Quy, who led the Vietnamese delegation to the event, appreciated Singapore retaing its position as Vietnam’s leading investor and trade partner.

He suggested the countries seek new ways to obtain higher added values and support each other in development, calling on Singapore to negotiate and sign mutual recognition agreements on standards of agricultural, forestry and fishery products while encouraging Singaporean businesses to invest in such spheres as infrastructure, waste treatment and water resources management.

He also proposed the Singaporean side investing in the high-tech and food parks in Vietnam.

At the consultation, Vietnam and Singapore consented to deepen their affiliation in national defence and security and step up bilateral collaboration in the fight against terrors, pirates, human traffickers, and cyber, high-tech and money laundering crimes.

Cooperation in other realms like education, banking, tourism and employment will also receive a boost.

Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary of the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Singapore pledges to constructively support Vietnam in improving its human resources quality and swiftly speed up negotiations on the bilateral labour agreement.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of shared concern.

The heads of the two delegations to the consultation committed to making all-out efforts in order to foster solidarity and unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and carry forward the group’s central role in security and strategic issues in the region.

They promised to maintain and promote peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of aviation and overflight in the East Sea, and call on concerned parties to exercise restraint, not use or threaten to use force, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, handle disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, support the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and seek measures to accelerate pragmatic negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Quy spoke highly of Singapore’s consistent position on the East Sea issue, as well as the country’s role and tangible contributions in its capacity as the coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations for 2015-2018, saying these reflected the country’s responsibility and constructive role to strategic security issues in the region.

The two sides noted with pleasure the close and effective cooperation between the two foreign ministries, which has significantly contributed to the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership.

They agreed to hold the 11 th political consultation in Vietnam in 2017.

While in Singapore, Quy paid a visit to Senior Minister of State , Prime Minister's Office , Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport Josephine Teo, and held talks with Permanent Secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chee Wee Kiong.-VNA