Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh have expressed their delight at the strongly growing ties between the two countries with many high-level visits, practically benefiting both peoples.

During their November 7 meeting in Singapore, the two leaders said the newly-established strategic partnership, reached during Prime Minister Lee’s visit to Vietnam in September this year, is a historical milestone in bilateral ties.

It has opened up new opportunities for the two sides to further expand and deepen their cooperation in all fields, ranging from politics-diplomacy, trade and investment to education and training, culture and people-to-people exchange, they said.

Regarding cooperation in economics, trade and investment, the two sides said they are pleased with the effective implementation of the Framework Agreement on Economic Connectivity between the two countries and the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks model, agreeing to choose suitable localities to continue developing the model.

PM Lee pledged to work closely with the Vietnamese side to encourage Singaporean enterprises to invest in Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island, calling on Vietnam to create favourable conditions and supply information on policies, administration procedures and land planning in Phu Quoc for the enterprises.

Deputy PM Ninh said Vietnam has been speeding up its reforms, especially in finance, credit and banking to enhance the efficiency of State-owned enterprises and increasing the competitiveness of its economy and meeting integration and development requirements.

Proposing to share Singapore ’s experience with Vietnam in the work, PM Lee affirmed that his country always gives priority to cooperation with Vietnam as a strategic partner. He said he considers finance as a promising realm and hoped for more favourable conditions for Singaporean financial organisations to expand operations in Vietnam .

On regional and international cooperation, the two sides said they are pleased with the two countries’ bilateral coordination within the ASEAN framework, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Economic Meeting (ASEM), and the United Nations.

Deputy PM Ninh spoke highly of Singapore ’s positive stance on matters relating to peace and stability in the region, including the East Sea issue.

The Singaporean leader confirmed that his country will continue its cooperation with and support for Vietnam in the negotiation process for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to ensure the TPP is a balanced agreement with adequate benefit for all parties, especially developing ones.

The same day, Deputy PM Ninh also met Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran.

They discussed measures to bolster trade and investment cooperation as strategic partners and members of ASEAN.

Minister Iswaran shared Singapore’s experience in human resources training to meet the requirements of international economic integration, affirming that Singapore will assist Vietnam in the field to help the country meet specific needs in training management personnel and skilled workers.

Deputy PM Ninh is in Singapore from November 5-8 at the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K. Shanmugam under the S. R. Nathan Fellowship.

The S. R. Nathan Fellowship is a high-level programme through which foreign leaders, prominent personalities and opinion-shapers are invited to Singapore to exchange ideas and experiences on current and long-term challenges with Singapore leaders and senior government officials. The fellowship was launched by Minister Shanmugam and former President S. R. Nathan in November 2012.-VNA