Singapore and Vietnam formally elevated their relationship to that as strategic partners on Wednesday, an agreement which deepens their ties on the political, economic, defence, security and international fronts.
Under the strategic partnership agreement, the two Asean members will promote high-level bilateral exchanges, with direct communications between their leaders. The strategic partnership was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is in Vietnam on a three-day official visit, and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung.
In trade, both countries have agreed to step up cooperation in sectors such as transport, infocomms technology, finance and banking. They have also agreed to look into other promising areas like cruise tourism, commodities trading, healthcare and agriculture. Vietnam and Singapore are also working to increase air traffic between the two countries and with the rest of the world.
For defence and security, Singapore and Vietnam will increase their cooperation in military and training exchanges, amongst other areas. The two countries will also explore tie-ups in areas such as tourism, healthcare, legal systems and education. In addition, they reaffirmed their commitment to bring about an integrated Asean Community by 2015, and to enhance the region's role in the global community.