Quang lauds Lion City as role model

Singapore invests heavily in Ho Chi Minh’s tech sector. Source: Wikimedia

Singapore and Vietnam have welcomed the prospect of increasing connectivity and stepped up their air-services agreement.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong asked that city-state flights be allowed to pick up passengers in Vietnam before reaching a third country, which is known as “fifth-freedom rights” within the industry.

After talks with Lee and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, a joint statement said the move would increase the flow of goods and people, spurring growth.

Lee also asked that the United Overseas Bank be “expeditiously” issued a foreign-owned subsidiary bank licence for it to provide financial services in Vietnam for firms from both nations.

The statement said Quang would instruct Vietnamese agencies to work with UOB to agree the licence.

“Today, Vietnam has become one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies and a robust partner of Singapore,” Tan added.

They lauded the success of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks programme, which has drawn US$9 billion in investment and employs more than 170,000 staff. There are seven parks in Vietnam, which Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will visit in September for the 20th-anniversary of the programme.

The success of Singapore provided a “valuable lesson” for Vietnam, said Quang.

Speaking at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Quang said he aimed to learn from Singaporean success, particularly in planning, its policy in prioritising investment in science and technology as well as education and training. Its highly quality workforce had produced rapid and sustainable development, he added.

Quang said Hanoi was glad to see the friendship between the countries growing since diplomatic ties were established in 1973.

“Singapore is one of the top three countries and territories that invest in Vietnam, and the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks have become a symbol of this successful cooperation for mutual benefit,” the Vietnamese president said.

“Tens of thousands of public servants and students who have received training in Singapore are making daily contributions to the development of our country as well as the friendship between Vietnam and Singapore.”

He said the countries were committed to the strengthening of Asean and “peaceful and stable international order that respects and adheres to international law”, in apparent reference to the South China Sea dispute.

“Vietnam wishes to work together with Singapore to promote and further deepen the strategic partnership between our two countries across all areas,” the president said, during his three-day state visit to the tiny republic.