Promoting Vietnam’s comprehensive cooperation with Singapore and Malaysia, especially in politics, economics, trade, investment, culture, education, defence, security and foreign affairs, was a top priority of President Truong Tan Sang’s state visits to the two countries.

This comment was made by Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, right after President Sang wrapped up the visits on Sept. 30.

Vinh stressed the President’s visits to Singapore and Malaysia concluded successfully and achieved important results. The Singaporean and Malaysian leaders spoke highly of the visits, saying that the visits brought Vietnam’s bilateral relations with Singapore and Malaysia to a new height and in a deeper, more reliable and comprehensive manner in all fields.

In Singapore, President Sang met his Singaporean counterpart, Tony Tan Keng Yam, and received Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong.

In Malaysia, besides meeting with King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Billah Shah, President Sang received Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

At these meetings, the Singaporean and Malaysian leaders all held that the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore, and between Vietnam and Malaysia, are developing strongly and effectively. They affirmed their desires to further promote the existing fine relations with Vietnam and bring these ties to a new height in the coming time.

In that spirit, President Sang and the leaders of the two nations agreed to maintain high-ranking visits and meetings to further enhance mutual trust and understanding, creating a premise for cooperation in other areas, Vinh said.

The President, the Prime Minister of Singapore and the Prime Minister of Malaysia are expected to visit Vietnam in the near future, Vinh added.

Regarding economic cooperation, Vinh said President Sang and the Singaporean and Malaysian leaders discussed orientations to boost bilateral trade and investment ties, as well as fully exploit potentials and cooperation opportunities between Vietnam and the two regional countries.

The State President also affirmed that the Vietnamese State and Government always create favourable conditions for foreign businesses, including those from Singapore and Malaysia, to invest and do business in Vietnam.

For Singapore, the leaders agreed to speed up the implementation of the framework agreement on Vietnam-Singapore connectivity in various fields and expand Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP), which have become a symbol of successful economic cooperation between the two nations.

For Malaysia, the two countries will soon organise the fifth session of the Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation to review and boost cooperation in all spheres, especially in economics, trade and investment, striving to bring two-way trade to 10 billion USD in the coming time.

Bilateral security and defence cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore and between Vietnam and Malaysia will be further consolidated and developed, Vinh said.

For Singapore, the two sides agreed to actively implement a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation signed in 2009, and maintain the policy dialogue mechanism at the vice defence ministerial level, as well as meetings of permanent deputy ministers of public security.

For Malaysia, the two sides will accelerate negotiations for the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in preventing and combating trans-national crimes and an agreement on joint patrols at sea. They also agreed to increase contact and regular meetings between senior leaders of the two countries’ navies.

The Singaporean and Malaysian leaders agreed with Vietnam’s proposals to further beef up cooperation in fields and put forward important suggestions to expand cooperation in finance, banking, information technology, aviation, telecommunications, and oil and gas.
President Sang also requested Singapore and Malaysia to create favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to live and work in the two countries.

Regarding the East Sea, the Singaporean and Malaysian leaders agreed to Vietnam’s stance on the need to ensure peace, stability, and maritime safety and security in the East Sea, to settle the disputes in the East Sea on the basis of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and to soon build a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

The leaders of the two countries also pledged to increase coordination and assistance to Vietnam in its negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

Regarding the prospects for bilateral cooperation with Vietnam, Vinh said the Singaporean and Malaysian leaders agreed to lift the relations with Vietnam to a new level and in a deeper, more reliable and comprehensive manner for the interests of the concerned nations, as well as the ASEAN Community./.