HANOI: Singapore and Vietnam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deepen interactions between parliamentarians from both sides, allowing them to find more areas of collaboration.
The MOU was signed on Thursday (May 19) by Singapore Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and his Vietnamese counterpart, chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Mr Vuong Dinh Hue.
The move will “contribute to the strengthening of overall relations” between both countries, said the Office of the Clerk of Parliament in a release on the same day.
Speaking to the media at the end of his official visit to Vietnam on Friday, Mr Tan noted that both sides’ parliamentarians were already engaging each other.
But the MOU provides a “framework” to increase this and establishes a commitment to making such interactions happen “in a more extensive way”, he said.
“As parliamentarians understand the issues, I think they can also take it back to their constituents, whether in the industry or in different sectors. I think they’ll find new opportunities to do that.”
BILATERAL TIES “REMARKABLY STRONG”
During Mr Tan’s three-day visit to Vietnam, he led a delegation of Singapore Members of Parliament in calling on Vietnamese leaders, including President Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. The delegation also met with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Phu Trong.
The visit comes ahead of a milestone next year: The 50th anniversary of Singapore and Vietnam’s diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.
Mr Tan noted that ties between the two countries are already “remarkably strong”, but they “will only get stronger and better in the years to come” with more collaborative efforts in the pipeline.
On the economic front, Mr Tan noted that the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks have “been working very well”, adding that authorities are exploring the possibility of developing these in more provinces.
Singapore was also Vietnam’s top source of foreign investment in 2020 and 2021, with about US$20 billion in investments.
“(The investments) reflect the level of confidence our business people have in Vietnam. Vietnam is clearly incredibly dynamic, (with) very capable people.”
Moving forward, Singapore is interested in collaborating more with Vietnam in areas such as digital transformation and the green economy, he said. As for people-to-people level, various initiatives are also in progress, he added.
“I think the best years are really ahead of us and we really look forward to that.”