National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and his Singaporean counterpart Halima Yacob agreed to strengthen parliamentary cooperation at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums during their talks in Hanoi on April 2.

The Singaporean top legislator congratulated Vietnam on successfully hosting the 132 nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-132), held in Hanoi from March 28 to April 1.

She added that the Singapore parliament continually supports and is willing to partner with the Vietnamese National Assembly and people across sectors to increase mutual understanding.

For his part, Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung sent his deep condolences to Singapore over the death of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, saying Vietnamese people remember his sentiment and valuable assistance to Vietnam during its national construction and development.

He highlighted the long-standing friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore 40 years after establishing their diplomatic ties, which, he said, have been developing across five pillars of the bilateral strategic partnership.

The NA leader confirmed that Vietnam will do its utmost to drive relations with Singapore forward in an effective and sustainable fashion and in line with the aspirations of the two countries’ people.

The Vietnamese NA, in particular, wants to increase cooperative activities with Singapore’s parliament in law-making, he noted.

He suggested both nations maintain high-level delegation exchanges and bolster affiliation in culture, trade, security and defence while facilitating Singaporean investment in Vietnam to increase trade above the current 9.8 billion USD.

He welcomed Singapore to expand its investment in Vietnamese industrial parks and asked the island country to assist Vietnam in education-training and tourism – two Singaporean strengths.

The top lawmaker proposed Singapore continue to support ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, to maintain and ensure security and safety in the East Sea, effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Yacob revealed Singapore plans to grant additional scholarships to Vietnamese students and expand training courses for Vietnamese State employees.

Regarding marine security in the region, she suggested the involved parties seek peaceful measures to address any disputes and pointed to COC for guidance.-VNA