Vietnam Bolsters Relationship with Singapore

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Jun. 5 – During a keynote speech at the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore last week, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung renewed his support for Singaporean foreign investors, vowing to make significant market reforms that would facilitate greater foreign investment. Top officials from Asia-Pacific states, ASEAN member nations, and representatives from China and the United States gathered at this year’s summit.

“With extensive experience in project integration and implementation, Singapore companies are important partners for Vietnam as we encourage investments in the private sector. This partnership is integral as we take steps to position Vietnam as an attractive destination for investment,” said Dung.

Dung highlighted the strategic importance of Vietnam’s relationship with Singapore.

“Competition and engagement are by themselves normal facts in the course of cooperation and development. Yet if such competition and engagement embrace calculations only in one’s own interest, without equality, respect of international law and transparency, then strategic trust could in no way be reinforced, and there could be a chance for the rise of division, suspicion and the risk of mutual containment, thus adversely affecting peace, cooperation and development,” he said.

Dung also spoke to the importance of cooperation in the larger ASEAN community.

“We need an ASEAN united and strong, cooperating effectively with all countries to nurture peace and prosperity in the region, not an ASEAN in which member states are forced to take side with one country or the other for the individual benefit of their own in the relations with big powers. We have the responsibility to multiply trust in the settlement of problems, enhance cooperation for mutual benefit, combine harmoniously our national interest with that of other nations and of the whole region,” Dung affirmed.

His keynote address comes at a time during increasing economic linkage between Vietnam and Singapore. Singapore is Vietnam’s third largest investor, with S$33.5 billion of cumulative register capital to date.

Investment by Singaporean companies in Vietnam is strong. In May, Singapore supermarket chain NUTC FairPrice opened their first store in Ho Chi Minh City. The CEO of International Enterprise Singapore Teo Eng Cheong has also lauded Vietnam’s business potential, citing urbanization, abundance of natural resources, and the growing domestic economy in Vietnam as attractive factors for investors.

Vietnam and Singapore is now scheduled to sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement later this year. Marking the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations between Vietnam and Singapore, the agreement will further build trade and investment linkages between the two burgeoning economies.

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