Việt Nam, Singapore to deepen digital and green partnership: Ambassador
It is expected that during the upcoming visit to Singapore by PM Chính, the two countries can sign an agreement on digital and green partnership, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phước Dũng.
In a recent interview with Vietnam News Agency, Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phước Dũng spoke about the meaning of the official visit of Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính to Singapore which is slated for February 8-10.
Việt Nam and Singapore have had many high-level delegation exchanges since reopening post-pandemic. Could you please share the meaning and importance of the upcoming visit of PM Phạm Minh Chính to Singapore for the bilateral cooperation relationship?
Following the two visits by the two heads of state in 2022, this year the Prime Ministers of the two countries will visit each other. This represents the special political trust and relationship between Việt Nam and Singapore. The visit is even more meaningful as it is the first in a series of events that will take place in the two countries on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a strategic partnership. During this visit, the PMs of the two countries will discuss measures to concretise the agreements of senior leaders and find new forms of cooperation for the two sides.
In 2023, the two countries celebrate 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations and 10 years of strategic partnership. Could you tell us about the outstanding achievements gained in the bilateral relationship in the past 50 years, especially in the last 10 years?
Over the past 50 years, and especially in the last 10 years when Việt Nam and Singapore signed a strategic partnership, the two countries have cooperated in all fields, from politics, diplomacy, defence, and security to people-to-people exchanges. All fields have developed very evenly and strongly. Currently, Singapore is Việt Nam’s largest Southeast Asian investor and second largest foreign investor. Many Singaporean projects are being implemented with 11 Vietnam Singapore industrial parks (VSIP) in all provinces in the north, central and south, creating jobs for more than 300,000 people, with the total investment capital of industrial parks reaching more than US$11 billion.
What agreements are expected to be signed during this visit and what do you expect from the visit?
I think the two sides will continue to promote cooperation on digital transformation and on green and clean energy. These are two areas where Singapore has strengths and Việt Nam is in demand. Cooperation documents on these two fields were signed last year.
This year, the two Prime Ministers will discuss specific measures to implement these agreements. These are very important agreements. Currently, it is expected that during this visit, the two countries can sign an agreement on digital and green partnership which Singapore’s Ministry of Trade & Industry and Việt Nam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment are discussing. These are very important foundational documents to concretise the agreements reached by senior leaders last year. Secondly, to continue cooperation in education, the two sides can re-sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on education cooperation that expired in 2017. In addition, the two countries may also sign a cooperation agreement on rescue in the field of defence.
During state visits in 2022, leaders of the two countries pledged to strengthen cooperation in new areas, such as cooperation in digital transformation, digital economy and clean energy, and renewable energy. Could you please tell us about the implementation of these cooperation commitments as well as future prospects?
During the visit of then President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in February 2022, the two sides signed a cooperation agreement on digital partnership. Right after it was signe, Việt Nam sent a delegation of experts to work with Singaporean partners to discuss cooperation in the field of e-government. During the visit of President Halimah Yacob in October 2022, the two countries signed a cooperation deal on clean energy.
In addition, the Ministry of Public Security of Việt Nam has sent a delegation of experts to learn from Singaporean experience and Singapore has also sent a delegation to help Việt Nam carry out digital transformation in the making of electronic identity cards and the two sides are continuing to cooperate in building Việt Nam’s national data centre.
As for the energy cooperation agreement signed in October, the two sides are setting up a working group to work out a roadmap to accelerate cooperation in the near future. However, this progress is still slow. I hope that after PM Chính’s visit, the two sides will accelerate this process towards the cooperation between Việt Nam and Singapore on green and clean energy as soon as possible.