Vivian Balakrishnan in Vietnam for introductory visit

Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh pose for a photo after a signing ceremony at the Government Guest House in Hanoi on Oct 26, 2016.
Singapore's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan (left) and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh pose for a photo after a signing ceremony at the Government Guest House in Hanoi on Oct 26, 2016. PHOTO: EPA
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan called on Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his introductory visit to Vietnam from 25 to 27 October 2016.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan called on Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his introductory visit to Vietnam from 25 to 27 October 2016.MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan is in Vietnam for an introductory visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 26).

The three-day visit, which will include stops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, began on Tuesday (Oct 25) and will run until Thursday (Oct 27).

In Hanoi, Dr Balakrishnan called on Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, where they reaffirmed the excellent bilateral relations between Singapore and Vietnam, the MFA said in the statement.

At their meeting, Dr Balakrishnan and Mr Phuc noted the regular high-level political exchanges between the two countries, underpinned by strong economic links, growing tourism flows and warm people-to-people relations. Mr Phuc looked forward to building on the strong foundation between the two countries, and highlighted Vietnam's commitment to continue providing a conducive environment for Singapore investors.

Both of them also welcomed continued exchanges at the government, parliamentary, and people-to-people levels, the MFA said.

Dr Balakrishnan also called on President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan. They underscored the growing friendship between VFF and the People's Association (PA) and exchanged ideas on harnessing new technologies to improve government services and engage the people.

On Wednesday (Oct 26), Dr Balakrishnan met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and was also hosted to lunch.

The ministers discussed ways to further expand the growing ties between Singapore and Vietnam in areas including trade and investment, aviation, education and training, security and defence. They also exchanged views on regional developments and stressed the importance of Asean centrality and unity.

After the meeting, the two ministers signed the renewed Agreement on the Study Visit Programme and Executive Education Programme for Senior Communist Party of Vietnam Officials from 2017 to 2019.

Dr Balakrishnan on Tuesday met with the Chairman of the Community Party of Vietnam Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan. Dr Balakrishnan and Chairman Quan discussed common challenges faced by Singapore and Vietnam. Dr Balakrishnan also attended a reception for Singaporeans in Hanoi.

Dr Balakrishnan will be visiting Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday (Oct 27).