Sustainability – a promising area for Vietnam-Singapore cooperation: Ambassador

Vietnam remains a magnet for Singaporean investors, with sustainable development being a promising area of collaboration in the coming time, according to Singaporean Ambassador to Vietnam Jaya Ratnam.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the Year of the Cat 2023, the diplomat highlighted that Singapore has been Vietnam’s top source of foreign investment since 2020.

This reflected investors’ strong confidence in Vietnam’s strong economic fundamentals and prospects. Despite the tense geopolitical context and economic headwinds, Vietnam is recording impressive post-pandemic recovery, he said.Ambassador Jaya noted that the Vietnam - Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) are a cornerstone of Singapore’s economic engagement with Vietnam.

They have attracted $ 16.2 billion in investments and created over 300,000 jobs in Vietnam so far, the diplomat said, calling them “an enduring icon of our bilateral partnership”.It is a partnership wherein Vietnam and Singapore companies complement each other and constantly seek to improve so that they meet the evolving needs of both sides”, he added.For instance, the third VSIP in Binh Duong committed to incorporating IR4.0 practices and green technologies. This helped secure LEGO Group’s investment to build its first-ever carbon-neutral plant.

Given that Vietnam and Singapore have both committed to significantly reduce carbon emissions over the coming decades, the diplomat pointed to sustainability as a promising area of collaboration between them in the coming time.Climate change would be the key planetary challenge of this century, he said, adding managing the issue requires governments and businesses to harness their collective will and resources.“Collaboration in renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, carbon credits and green financing will enable us both to achieve our goals in the upcoming green energy transition,” he stressed.

He said Singapore hoped to work towards fostering bilateral and regional connectivity and interoperability to support the growth of businesses and investments in innovation and technology.“The new areas of collaboration provide the basis for developing a green and digital partnership that will shape up our bilateral relations for the coming decades,” he added.

On the bilateral ties, the diplomat said Vietnam and Singapore have maintained their steadfast friendship, and have strong foundation of mutual trust and a tradition of mutual support.He said bilateral engagements were sustained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and both countries assisted each other in times of need.Since the opening of their borders earlier this year, Vietnam and Singapore resumed high-level exchanges, which reflected their common interest in expanding cooperation to include new and emerging fields.

Following President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s state visit to Singapore in February 2022, Singaporean President Halimah Yacob paid her first foreign trip to Vietnam since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, making it the first time both nations exchanged state visits in one year, he said.

These capped off a year of high-level visits, including an official visit to Vietnam by the Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin in May and DPM/Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat in September. The interactions allowed the two sides to reaffirm and strengthen their multifaceted and substantive bilateral relationship.

“The 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership next year will be a chance for us to take stock of our excellent cooperation, and chart new paths forward for the next 50 years,” Ambassador Jaya Ratnam said.