SINGAPORE - Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Monday reaffirmed their countries' commitment to further deepen cooperation, especially in new areas of growth such as the digital economy, green economy and innovation.
They also discussed regional and international issues, including the importance of upholding Asean centrality and unity, and reaffirmed the need to uphold rules-based multilateralism to promote peace and stability in the region, Singapore's Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
DPM Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, is on an official visit to Vietnam and called on PM Chinh in Hanoi.
Both leaders reaffirmed the excellent relations between Singapore and Vietnam, and welcomed the strong and multifaceted progress in bilateral cooperation under the Singapore-Vietnam Strategic Partnership, which marks its 10th anniversary next year.
DPM Heng also met Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Le Minh Khai. They agreed to step up economic cooperation across a range of areas, including renewable energy, decarbonisation initiatives, infrastructure, digitalisation, start-ups and capacity building, the PMO said.
The DPMs agreed on the importance for both countries to continue deepening economic integration through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, as well as Asean-led initiatives.
DPM Heng also met Mr Vo Van Thuong, Standing Member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Secretariat.
They reviewed the excellent bilateral as well as party-to-party ties between Singapore and Vietnam, and discussed ways to further strengthen party-to-party exchanges, said the PMO.
On Tuesday, DPM Heng will engage members of the business community in Hanoi before departing for Ho Chi Minh City, where he will meet its party secretary Nguyen Van Nen and chairman of its People's Committee Phan Van Mai.
DPM Heng will also visit the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in Binh Duong province, which was the first VSIP to be established in 1996.
The 10 VSIPs in Vietnam today are a major component of bilateral economic engagement, and have attracted US$14 billion (S$20 billion) in investments and created more than 270,000 jobs in Vietnam.
Bilateral trade between both countries saw steady growth over the past decade, reaching $26.9 billion in 2021, an 18.7 per cent increase from 2020.
In a Facebook post, DPM Heng said: "With a young population and an abundance of renewable energy sources and other resources, the potential for Vietnam to grow and for us to work together is vast."
He added that he is confident the partnership will grow from strength to strength as both countries look forward to 50 years of bilateral relations next year.
DPM Heng is accompanied by officials from the PMO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board on his visit.