In an article analysing the Vietnamese leader’s visit on the Eurasia-Review, Dr. Rajaram Panda, Senior Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library under the Indian Ministry of Culture, said Vietnam and Singapore share a good bilateral relationship, which has been strengthened by a strategic partnership agreement signed in September 2013 during the official visit to Vietnam by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The two countries’ economic ties are robust, with bilateral trade growing steadily over the last decade, he said.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade between Vietnam and Singapore still grew positively, reaching 8.3 billion USD in 2021, up over 23% year-on-year. Singapore is Vietnam's largest investor in ASEAN with 2,866 valid projects worth 67.5 billion USD. Singaporean investors have invested in developing infrastructure of 13 industrial parks (IP) in Vietnam with a total area of over 7.500 ha.
Economic cooperation is the foundation of the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Singapore, Panda said, adding that Singapore companies consider Vietnam an attractive investment destination.
The expert also mentioned cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore across many fields, including innovation, green energy, digital economy and diversification of global supply chains. Their cooperation also covers the areas of defence, security, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchange. They are seeking new development motivations to boost the relations, especially in areas where Singapore has strengths and Vietnam has potential.
Regarding foreign policy, the two countries have regularly exchanged regional and global issues of common concern. Both stress that ASEAN should stick to its position on the East Sea and resolve disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and the importance of ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and over-flight in the East Sea, Panda wrote in the article.
"There is good opportunity for both Vietnam and Singapore to promote intra-regional solidarity aimed to solve security challenges in the East Sea, Myanmar issue, economy (especially on supply chain and restructuring), sustainable development and digital transformation to further contribute to the peace and stability in the region for the benefit of each country and the ASEAN bloc." he said.
He added that in the larger regional context, trilateral cooperation between India, Vietnam and Singapore can be a new mechanism supplementing the existing ones on issues such as maritime security and providing logistical support to securing the maritime domain could possibly explored.