PM heading to Singapore
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung pays an official visit to Singapore between August 13-14 at the invitation of his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
PM Dung’s two-day visit to Singapore will mark the third leg of his tour of the five member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), that are Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar and Brunei.
While in Singapore, the Vietnamese PM will hold talks with PM Lee Hsien Loong, President S.R. Nathan, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. PM Dung will also pay visits to the Surbana Corporation and the Singapore Townships.
The Singapore visit is to take place as the two countries’ relationship has entered into the golden era, particularly since Viet Nam and Singapore signed a joint declaration on comprehensive cooperation framework for the 21st century in March 2004.
Singapore was one of the first four ASEAN nations to explore Viet Nam’s investment environment in the 1990s. Since then, investment from the island state has grown rapidly.
According to statistics from the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Department, by the end of July 2007, Singapore had 503 projects totalling 9.6 billion USD licensed in Viet Nam, ranking first amongst ASEAN members and second among 79 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.
Singaporean investors are involved in businesses ranging from oil and gas exploration and exploitation and industrial production to agro-forestry, fisheries and services.
Two-way trade between Viet Nam and Singapore has also risen over the last decade. It was 3.3 billion USD in 1998, doubled in 2005 and rose to 7.7 billion USD in 2006.
The Viet Nam-Singapore Cooperation Committee was established in 1993 and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on boosting cooperation between the two countries’ stock exchanges. Noteworthy, the Singapore Exchange Ltd. and the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (previously known as the Ho Chi Minh City Securities Trading Centre) recently signed an agreement to allow for cross exchange listings.
Singapore has also been giving Viet Nam a helping hand through the “ASEAN Integration” initiative and its Education Ministry has pledged to increase the number of scholarships doled out to outstanding Vietnamese students.
Since its inception in 2002, Ha Noi’s Viet Nam-Singapore Training Centre has provided training to more than 2,500 Vietnamese students.- (VNA)
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