S'pore, Vietnam form joint business council

A new cross-border initiative is well under way to improve business relations between Singapore and Vietnam.

It involves the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) joining forces and creating a joint council.

The new body meets once a year and allows business leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest, ways to strengthen commercial ties and make recommendations to the Singapore and Vietnam governments.

Networking opportunities between both countries will be improved as well, while new business opportunities in both markets should be more easily identified, said the SBF and VCCI yesterday.

The SBF hopes to strengthen partnerships in five key areas - urban development, energy, consumer, Industry 4.0 and manufacturing, and start-ups and innovation.

The Vietnam-Singapore Business Council, as the new venture is called, already has 17 Singapore companies on board, representing sectors ranging from infrastructure to banking, technology and education.

They include CapitaLand (Vietnam), Grab, UOB (Vietnam), PSA Corporation, NTUC FairPrice Cooperative and ST Engineering.

The council's official launch took place at the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum, during a five-day business mission to Vietnam led by the SBF and Enterprise Singapore.

"Singapore companies recognise the abundant opportunities in Vietnam, evidenced by the growing bilateral trade and investments between both countries," said SBF vice-chairman Douglas Foo, who also chairs Sakae Holdings.

"Through the (new council), we hope to ride this wave of growth and deepen business-to-business collaboration in both markets and partnerships through the sharing of best practices."

Mr Vu Tien Loc, chairman and president of the VCCI, added: "Singapore has become one of Vietnam's leading strategic partners in terms of imports-exports, as well as in terms of foreign direct investment.

"I believe the council will contribute to further development of cooperation between the business communities of Vietnam and Singapore in many fields."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore, Vietnam form joint business council'. Print Edition | Subscribe