During his lifetime, former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was especially concerned about the implementation of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) – which has later become a symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Twenty years ago, when the southern province of Binh Duong was known as Song Be, Lee Kuan Yew arrived in the province to examine the VSIP construction site in what is now Thuan An commune, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem reminisced.

Upon his arrival in Binh Duong, Mr. Lee encouraged local authorities to develop industry and foster their belief that the province would grow more strongly in the future, Liem said.

The province was honoured to welcome the former PM another four times since the VSIP was commissioned.

Lee Kuan Yew was considered a key figure in the establishment and development of cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore, Liem said.

In 2007, in his capacity as Singapore’s Minister Mentor, visited the VSIP for the second time to study the human resources, industrial development, administrative reform, and education-training work in Binh Duong.

He wrote in the visitors’ book that he could see considerable progress had been made in the previous decade.

Lee Kuan Yew also visited the VSIP II in the Binh Duong industry-service-urban complex on the occasion of his visit to Vietnam in April 2009, at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Once again, he made it clear how impressed he was at the rapid progress that had been made.

The VSIP was shaped on the basis of friendship and economic cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore. With the support of the two governments, the Binh Duong Becamex Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Singapore Sembcorp Development led infrastructure and real estate businesses to carry out the project from 1996.

The VSIP is developing five linked projects across Vietnam , with a total land area of over 6,000 hectares spread across the provinces of Binh Duong, Bac Ninh and Quang Ngai and Hai Phong port city.

It is attracting investment projects worth 7.4 billion USD from 30 nations and territories and generating jobs for 140,000 local workers.

Lee Kuan Yew served as Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. He passed away in the early hours of March 23 at the age of 91. He is widely credited with turning Singapore into one of the most affluent economies in Asia within three decades.-VNA