Saigon Giai Phong Online - 22 June 2021
Vietnam, Singapore to work towards bilateral agreement on digital economy
Vietnam and Singapore have agreed to promote the early establishment of a joint technical working group on a digital partnership, towards a bilateral agreement on digital economy.
The agreement was reached during the face-to-face talks on June 21 between Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan, who is in Hanoi for an official visit to Vietnam and for attendance in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Policy Dialogue from June 20-23.
Minister Son highlighted the significance of the visit in the context of Covid-19, showing the determination of both sides to promote the Vietnam - Singapore strategic partnership.
Minister Balakrishnan, for his part, spoke highly of Vietnam’s success in fighting the pandemic and recovering the socio-economy while praising the country for positive economic growth in 2020.
He said his country attaches importance to friendship and cooperation with Vietnam.
Singapore is ready to work with Vietnam to get access to vaccine supply, and apply advanced technology in tracing Covid-19 cases, and testing, Balakrishnan said, adding that he agreed to accelerate the establishment of a working group on building an agreement on the mutual recognition of vaccine certification.
The two ministers highlighted the key role of the two countries’ foreign ministries in fostering bilateral ties in various sectors. They agreed to closely coordinate to promote the exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels as well as maintain cooperation mechanisms. The next meeting to be held will be the 14th deputy-ministerial-level political consultation later this year.
The two ministers also agreed on some measures to strengthen consultations between the two foreign ministries, especially on regional and global issues of common concern.
Both sides emphasised the need to effectively implement the Vietnam-Singapore economic connectivity agreement and work out concrete measures to boost cooperation in such fields as logistics, e-commerce, high-tech agriculture, and food processing in a bid to ensure post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development in each country.
The Vietnamese FM suggested Singapore open its markets to key export products of Vietnam, including agricultural, forestry, aquatic textile, and footwear products.
Son also highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation in the manufacturing chain and processing to exploit the advantages of each side as well as to promote bilateral trade and export to other countries.
They also vowed to bolster ties in education, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.
At their talks, the two FMs discussed international and regional issues of mutual concern, and agreed to work together at international and regional organisations and forums such as the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Mekong Sub-region as well as in ratifying and implementing free trade agreements.
Exchanging views on the situation in the East Sea, they agreed to uphold peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the waters in compliance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and build an effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
At the end of the talks, the two FMs signed an agreement on training for senior officials of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 2021-23.