Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong agreed to elevate the two countries’ friendship and comprehensive relations to a strategic partnership during their talks in Hanoi on September 11.

The strategic partnership will cover five major contents, including deepening mutual trust in the two sides’ political relations, boosting economic cooperation, increasing cooperation in security-defence, promoting bilateral ties in other fields such as education, law, health, culture, art and sports, and intensifying cooperation at regional and international forums.

During the talks, part of the official visit by the Singaporean leader, PM Dung welcomed PM Lee Hsien Long to Vietnam , describing the visit as a manifestation of the close and reliable relations between the two countries, and also as an important event to mark the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

He also congratulated the government and people of Singapore on their important achievements, especially in the development of economics, science-technology and human resource training and management.

PM Lee praised Vietnam for its accomplishments in national construction and development towards the target of becoming an industrialised country by 2020 as well as the country’s increasingly important role in ASEAN, the region and in the world.

He also spoke highly of PM Dung’s opening speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in May this year.

The two sides expressed their pleasure at the strong development of the two countries’ friendship and comprehensive cooperation, bringing practical benefits for both peoples.

They agreed that the two sides should maintain the regular exchange of delegations at all levels, including those of the two Parties and two legislative bodies, and support the establishment of the Friendship Association in each country to promote people-to-people exchange.

The two leaders noted that defence-security cooperation has continued to develop on the basis of the Defence Cooperation Agreement (2009) and the Transnational Crime Prevention Cooperation Agreement which was signed in 2006 and extended in 2012.

They welcomed the signing of an agreement on submarine rescue procedures cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on information exchanges about non-military shipping and maritime activities.

Both host and guest agreed that economic, investment and trade cooperation is the highlight and the main pillar of the two countries’ relations.

PM Dung highly valued the fact that Singapore has always been among the top investors in and trade partners of Vietnam . Two-way trade surpassed 9 billion USD in 2012 and Singapore now has nearly 1,200 projects worth over 28 billion USD in Vietnam .

PM Lee affirmed he will encourage Singaporean investors to invest in Vietnam , especially in the fields of Vietnam ’s interest, such as seafood processing, clean vegetable cultivation and genetic technology.

He also took note of PM Dung’s request for favourable conditions for Vietnam ’s export items, including agro-forestry-seafood and garment products, to enter the Singaporean market for more balanced trade ties, as well as for Singapore ’s support for Vietnamese businesses to participate deeper in the world’s market and the global supply chain.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction at the effectiveness of the Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement and the operation of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks in the provinces of Binh Duong and Bac Ninh and Hai Phong city, expressing their hope that the fifth one to be built in Quang Ngai province will be successful, contributing to the development of Vietnam’s central region.

Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation on education-training, energy-oil and gas, agriculture, construction, transport, labour, finance, post and communications and information technology.

Regarding regional and international cooperation, the two PMs voiced pleasure at the close coordination between the two countries in the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations.

The two sides agreed to step up mutual collaboration and work together with other ASEAN countries for the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015, enhancing the solidarity among ASEAN and upholding the bloc’s central role in the region for the sake of regional peace, security and prosperous development.

PM Lee affirmed that Singapore will continue to collaborate with and support Vietnam in the course of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, ensuring that the TPP will be a balanced agreement with adequate consideration for the benefits of all members, especially developing countries.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Dung thanked Singapore and other ASE AN nations for backing Vietnam ’s bids for a seat in the Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 tenure as well as for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure. He also asked for Singapore ’s support of Vietnam ’s candidacy for a seat in the World Heritage Committee in the 2013-2017 term.

The two PMs shared their views on the East Sea issue, emphasising the solidarity and positive role of ASEAN and highlighting the association’s common principles as mentioned in the Six-Point Declaration of ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the issue, which laid emphasis on ensuring peace, security, and maritime safety and freedom in the East Sea, resolving disputes by peaceful measures, abiding by international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and seriously and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conducts of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as working for an early establishment of the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

Following the talks, the two Prime Ministers attended a ceremony to launch a stamp set jointly issued by Vietnam and Singapore on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.-VNA