Elevating Vietnam’s cooperation with Singapore and Brunei

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation are paying official visits to the Republic of Singapore and Brunei Darussalam from February 8-11 at the invitations of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (Photo: VGP)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (Photo: VGP)

These are PM Pham Minh Chinh's first visits to the two countries in his new position. They are also the first official visit by a leader of the Vietnamese Government to Singapore in the past five years, and to Brunei in the past 15 years.

The official visits are made in the context that Vietnam and Singapore are celebrating their 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of bilateral strategic partnership in 2023. Meanwhile, Vietnam and Brunei marked their 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties last year. Both the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership and the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership have fruitfully developed in all areas of cooperation.

Vietnam-Singapore cooperation continues to develop dynamically and strongly. The two sides have maintained regular high-level contacts and exchanges across all cooperation channels. Bilateral cooperation in defence and security, education, culture, and tourism has been strongly and substantively consolidated and promoted.

The two countries have closely cooperated in regional and international issues of shared concern, including the East Sea/South China Sea issue, and have smoothly coordinated at multilateral organisations and forums, especially ASEAN, APEC, and the United Nations as well as in the implementation of new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Singapore is Vietnam’s top important economic partner in the region, with two-way trade nearing 9 billion USD last year, up 10.1% annually. The island state leads ASEAN and ranks second among the 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 3,032 valid projects worth 70.39 billion USD.

At present, the 12 Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks in nine Vietnamese cities and provinces, which are symbol of the bilateral economic cooperation, have attracted 17.6 billion USD for around 900 projects and generated roughly 300,000 jobs.

Vietnam and Singapore have agreed on several major orientations to cooperation in the era of the fourth Industrial Revolution in such fields as digital economy, digital transformation, supply chain connectivity, green economy, sustainable development, and chain collaboration in manufacturing.

PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to Singapore will contribute to lifting Vietnam-Singapore economic cooperation in the context that a series of new-generation free trade deals joined by the two nations have taken effect.

In 2022, Vietnam and Brunei celebrated the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, in the context that the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership has seen active developments.

High-level exchanges and contacts, as well as bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been maintained effectively.

The two-way trade between Vietnam and Brunei hit 638.5 million USD in October 2022, up 141.4% year-on-year, surpassing the goal of 500 million USD set for 2025 by their leaders.

Brunei ranked 26th out of the 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 157 valid projects valued at 971 million USD.

The two countries continued to effectively cooperated in defence and security, energy, agriculture, education, maritime cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides have coordinated well in regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue and have supported each other at regional and international organisations and forums, such as ASEAN, APEC, and the United Nations.

PM Pham Minh Chinh’s official visits to Singapore and Brunei are made at a time when the relationships between Vietnam and the two countries are developing positively, contributing to strengthening political trust, while elevating and deepening Vietnam’s multi-faceted cooperation with Singapore and Brunei in a more substantive and effective manner.

The visits continue to affirm Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development; diversification and multilateralisation of relations, and further deepening foreign relations.

At the same time, it aims to realise the foreign policy of the 13th Party Congress, in which priority is given to developing relations with neighbouring countries and ASEAN members; and proactively creating favourable condition for mobilising the support of partners and the international community.

That Singapore and Brunei welcomed the official visits of PM Pham Minh Chinh and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation show their appreciation and aspiration to create new momentum for their relations with Vietnam. The visits also demonstrate the attachment between Vietnam and the two ASEAN member countries, as well as the hope to further strengthen trust, bilateral cooperation and coordination in regional and international affairs.

May the official visits to Singapore and Brunei by PM Pham Minh Chinh and the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation be great successes, contributing to creating new momentum and lifting Vietnam’s cooperation with Singapore and Brunei in the new period.