Heng made the statement during his talks with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai in Hanoi on September 12.
Khai spoke highly of the visit by the Singaporean official, which takes place ahead of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership next year.
The two officials shared the view that their strategic partnership has been growing in various areas. Despite COVID-19, two-way trade surged by 23.3% annually to 8.3 billion USD in 2021. Singapore remained the biggest ASEAN investor in Vietnam with 2,959 valid projects worth 69.8 billion USD, and the Vietnam-Singapore industrial parks (VSIPs) have become a successful model of bilateral economic cooperation.
They agreed to launch initiatives in the fields of clean energy, sustainable development, innovation, digital transformation, digital economy, risk management in finance-banking, cyber security, and workforce training to meet the requirements of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Khai encouraged Singaporean firms to import Vietnamese products such as farm produce, fisheries and apparels; create favourable conditions to bring processed food to Singapore’s distribution system, as well as invest in VSIPs, with priority given to electronics, smart production, information technology, digitalisation, and new materials.
Heng agreed that the two sides should enhance cooperation to boost trade and supply chain connectivity.
Both sides also pledged to together maintain solidarity and uphold ASEAN’s central role in the region.
Deputy PM Le Minh Khai speaks at the talks. (Photo: VGP)
Congratulating Singapore on becoming the first country to approve the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Khai said multilateral trade deals like the RCEP, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and sub-regional agreements, are important tools to deliver on commitments related to free trade, fair competition and transparent economic policies.
On regional and global issues, Khai stressed that building the East Sea/South China Sea into a region of peace and cooperation in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is of utmost necessity, thus laying the foundation to ensure an environment conducive to economic development.