This is the first State visit of a foreign head of state to Vietnam since the 13th National Party Congress and the first foreign visit of the Singaporean President since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It takes place in the context that the two countries are preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the two countries’ strategic partnership in 2023.
The visit is expected to contribute to strengthening political trust and promoting multi-faceted cooperation between the two nations, especially in politics-diplomacy, defense-security, economy, investment, labor and technology. It will also look to connect the two economies on a digital platform.
Over the years, the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership has developed fruitfully. Amid complicated developments of Covid-19, the two sides still maintained all-level delegation exchanges and contacts.
Besides high political trust, economic cooperation continues to be considered a bright spot in the two countries' relations. As soon as the pandemic was basically under control, Vietnam and Singapore lifted travel restrictions and resumed commercial flights in March 2022. Two-way trade reached US$6.9 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 16 percent over the same period last year.
Singapore remains ASEAN's largest investor in Vietnam, ranking 2nd out of 139 countries and territories investing in the country. As of August 20, Singaporean investors had 2,974 valid projects with a total registered capital of US$69.9 billion, accounting for 16.3 percent of total investment capital poured into Vietnam.
Meanwhile, by July 2022, Vietnam had 136 valid investment projects worth over US$538 million in Singapore. The projects focus on such areas as science and technology, wholesale and retail, car and motorbike repairing, information and communications, and the manufacturing and processing industry.
The two sides have closely cooperated in epidemic prevention and control. Singapore was one of the first ASEAN countries to provide medical equipment and supplies to Vietnam, with 122,400 doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Currently, the Vietnamese community in Singapore numbers about 13,000, including about 7,000 students; more than 1,000 postgraduates and intellectuals, over 2,500 brides, and 2,500 workers.
According to Vietnamese Ambassador to Singapore Mai Phuoc Dung, the visit aims to deepen the strategic partnership signed by the two countries more than 9 years ago and at the same time concretize the results of bilateral cooperation in recent years.
During the visit, the two countries will sign an agreement on promoting cooperation in renewable energy, he said.
Within the framework of the visit, Singapore President Halimah Yacob will pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi, hold talks with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and pay courtesy calls to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
She will receive the Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, and visit the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 (VSIP1) and work with leaders in the northern province of Bac Ninh.