Singapore Ambassador to Vietnam Catherine Wong said that when the traditional field is effective, the two countries can expand into new areas such as startups and innovation.
Ambassador of Singapore wants to find a new field of cooperation with Vietnam Singapore Ambassador to Vietnam talked about the prospects of bilateral cooperation. Video: Mr. Phu.
“Even Covid-19 cannot stop the leaders of the two sides from keeping in touch,” Singapore Ambassador to Vietnam Catherine Wong said of the May phone call between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Singapore Prime Minister Ly Hien Long during the meeting. interview with VnExpress at home in Hanoi late July. “The two leaders discussed how we can strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially as all the countries in the world are facing challenge”.
Singapore and Vietnam upgraded their bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership in 2013. Bilateral trade last year reached $ 22.7 billion. The main products between the two countries are petroleum, computers, electronic products and components, and telephones. In addition, Vietnam produces aquatic products, coffee, pepper, vegetables and fruits, but the market share is not large.
Singapore is the third largest foreign direct investor after Korea and Japan, mainly in the real estate business, processing industry, manufacturing, and construction.
Ms Wong said that Vietnam – Singapore has substantially cooperated in many traditional fields such as trade, investment, finance, education and tourism, but there are still many other areas to exploit, such as agricultural trade. start-up, innovation, technology, energy exploration, infrastructure, urban solutions, e-commerce.
“I am very impressed with the quality of some of Vietnam’s agricultural products such as fruits, seafood, nuts and rice. We hope to see more Vietnamese products being exported to Singapore. Vietnamese lychee has been on the shelves of supermarkets in Singapore and has been very well received, “said the ambassador.
Ms Wong added that Singaporean companies are keen to cooperate with Vietnam to develop sustainable smart cities and new energy sources such as solar energy or liquefied natural gas (LNG). In the industrial sector, Singaporean companies can help develop automation solutions or robots and this will help in the high-tech manufacturing sector.
Last year, Singapore expanded its network of the Global Innovation Alliance to Ho Chi Minh City, opening up opportunities for cooperation between Singapore and Vietnamese startups. Singapore has startups in areas such as financial technology, education technology, and medical technology.
“These are potential areas that Singaporean companies hope to come to Vietnam to find suitable partners,” said Ms Wong.
Education is one of the focal points of cooperation between the two countries. About 10,000 Vietnamese students study in Singapore. Singapore Ministry of Education is continuing to award ASEAN scholarships to high school students and students from countries in the region. Private companies in Vietnam are also cooperating with universities in Singapore to award graduate scholarships.
Last year, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore announced the Asia Ready Exposure Program, which encourages students from Singapore vocational colleges and universities to ASEAN cities, China and India in internship programs, experiences. “Vietnam is always a destination for many students to choose from Singapore”, said the Ambassador.
“We hope that such exchange programs can continue, not only Singaporean students coming to Vietnam but more Vietnamese students will come to Singapore,” added Ms. Wong.
Singapore Ambassador Catherine Wong in Hanoi 24/7. Photo: Thanh Hue.
In March, Singapore announced that it would introduce Vietnamese into its junior and pre-university curriculum from 2021. Ambassador Wong assessed that the inclusion of Vietnamese in the curriculum has increased interest and continued attention. Singapore students’ contact with this language, thereby promoting people-to-people exchange.
“When coming to Vietnam, language not only makes it easier for them to understand the culture here, but also supports them to have more interactions and develop more meaningful relationships,” she said.
“Vietnamese is very difficult. I have been working in Vietnam for 4 years but still cannot speak Vietnamese fluently even though I can understand more than speak. I think language is always very useful if you really want to understand one. country, culture, society and people of that country “, according to the ambassador.
The South China Sea is an issue of common concern of Vietnam, Singapore and other ASEAN countries. Tensions in the South China Sea heat up when China has recently deployed a series of aggressive activities such as the Hai Duong 8 geological survey vessel entering Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and then following Malaysia’s drilling ship.
Vietnam has repeatedly rejected China’s claims and illegal activities in the South China Sea. The US and Australia recently declared China’s “nine-dashed line” claim in the South China Sea as “illegal” and “inconsistent with” international law. In