The second Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore, Tan See Leng, co-chaired the 17th Ministerial Meeting of Connectivity Singapore-Vietnam (CMM) held on August 27 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Along with his counterpart, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dzung, Minister Tan led discussions on collaboration in new and emerging areas of Energy, Sustainability and Digital Connectivity and Innovation. The ministers also took note of the progress made in the fields of education, finance, information technology and telecommunications, infrastructure, investment, tourism, trade and services, and transport since the last meeting. . The expansion of topics covered by the JMC reflects the changing and growing Singapore-Vietnam economic partnership.
The JMC is the key economic platform established under the Singapore-Vietnam Connectivity Framework Agreement (CFA) signed between Singapore and Vietnam in 2005. In line with this expansion, on August 28, 2023 Minister Tan and Minister Dzung will exchange side letters on updating the CFA to reflect the new pillars of cooperation. The exchange will be witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
Vietnam and the defense of its sovereignty
Minister Tan stated: “Singapore and Vietnam share strong and substantial trade and investment ties. With Vietnam’s transition to green and digital economy, Singapore can be a partner of Vietnam in its next stage of growth. Singaporean companies can take advantage of the strong foundation and partnerships with Vietnam to seize opportunities in these new areas.”
On the sidelines of today’s 17th JMC meeting, ministers also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and the Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC).
Strong commercial presence of Singapore in Vietnam
The 17th JMC follows Minister Tan’s recent visit to Vietnam from July 5-7, 2023, where he met with senior government counterparts to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation in key economic areas and attended the 7th JWC Regional Business Forum. Singapore (SRBF) as the guest of honor.
Singaporean companies have steadily expanded their investments throughout Vietnam, in diversified sectors such as logistics, infrastructure, manufacturing, and consumer goods and services. The economic footprint of Singaporean companies can be found throughout Vietnam, from the north, center and south, including the 13 Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs). In particular, business interest in the green economy and the digital economy has grown in recent years.
Singaporean companies have steadily expanded their investments throughout Vietnam, in diversified sectors such as logistics, infrastructure, manufacturing, and consumer goods and services.
Held for the first time outside of Singapore, the 7th July SRBF was well attended by Singaporean business representatives and the signing of 12 MoUs between public and private sector organizations from Singapore and Vietnam. In 2022, Vietnam was Singapore’s 11th trading partner. Bilateral trade in goods grew 16.4% yoy to S$31.3bn in 2022. Bilateral trade in services grew 9.4% yoy to S$7.4bn in 2021.
As of the end of 2022, Singapore was also the second largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with a cumulative investment of $70.8 billion.
2023 is a special year as Singapore and Vietnam celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations and ten years of Strategic Partnership. From August 27 to 29, Minister Tan will join Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his official visit to Vietnam.