PM Lee Hsien Loong at the Joint Press Conference with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

PM Lee Hsien Loong's remarks at the Joint Press Conference with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on 23 March 2017

 

Thank you Prime Minister for your gracious hospitality and for your warm remarks. I am glad to be back here in Vietnam after more than three years in order to take our relationship another step forward and to review the progress which we have made under our strategic partnership.

Our economic ties are strong and as you can see from the MOUs which we signed this morning, we are doing more in order to take them forward. Singapore is Vietnam’s top foreign investor in this year in 2017 so far and we hope to have more investment projects in Vietnam so there were MOUs this morning signed covering the power plant development in the Dung Quat province, in the Quang Ngai province with SembCorp in conjunction with the VSIP V. We are also exploring developing an innovation park in Da Nang, which is aligned with Vietnam’s economic plan to promote higher valued added economic activities, that is also by SembCorp. We are also looking at the possibility of developing an eighth VSIP in Quang Tri province. Also I am very happy that the State Bank of Vietnam has granted in-principal approval for UOB to set up a Foreign-owned subsidiary bank by June this year because in helping Singaporean banks access to Vietnam financial markets, it will further promote investment flows and will benefit both countries.

With more intensive business links and with more tourism between both sides, travel between Vietnam and Singapore has increased substantially. Our flights in both directions are full and we can have more flights so that we would be able to have more connectivity, more economic opportunities and more investment and trade. I am very happy that the Prime Minister and I have agreed that we should further discuss the liberalisation of bilateral air services with a view to enhancing the connectivity between Singapore and Vietnam.

With more intensive business links and with more tourism between both sides, travel between Vietnam and Singapore has increased substantially.

PM Lee

We also discussed regional and security issues and in particular the South China Sea, and I explained to the Prime Minister Singapore’s position on this as fellow ASEAN members states, we share an interest in a rules-based international order in resolving issues in accordance to international law, including the UN convention on the law of the sea. On an united ASEAN that is relevant to our peoples and to external partners and also on freedom of navigation on an important artery of global commerce in the South China Sea, we have agreed to continue to work together on the full and effective implementation of the DOC – the Declaration on the Conduct on the South China Sea and the expeditious conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. These are issues that are not just discussed between Singapore and Vietnam, but regionally amongst the regional countries. Vietnam is chairing APEC this year, Singapore is chairing ASEAN next year so Singapore is very happy to support Vietnam in its chairmanship of APEC and looks forward to Vietnam’s support next year when we are chairing ASEAN. I look forward to visiting Vietnam again this year for APEC it will be in Da Nang and I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Phuc to Singapore soon for a return visit. Thank you very much.

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