May 27, 2021 / 16:12

Vietnam, Singapore consider to ease travel restrictions

Relaxing travel restrictions is crucial for the relationship of Vietnam and its biggest investor.

Vietnam and Singapore have agreed to discuss relaxed travel restrictions for diplomatic missions and business purposes.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (right) and Singaporean Ambassador to Vietnam Jaya Ratnam in Hanoi on May 26. Photo: VGP

The two sides considered the issue at the two meetings in Hanoi on May 26 between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Singaporean Ambassador to Vietnam Jaya Ratnam.

They also pledged to support each other to access the Covid-19 vaccine.

The move becomes significant in the fact that Singapore remained Vietnam’s biggest investor in the first four months this year, pouring US$4.8 billion in the country, accounting for 39.6% of total FDI in Vietnam between January and April.

In 2020, Singapore topped the pack of foreign investors in Vietnam with US$9 billion FDI, accounting for 31.5% of the total inflows of foreign capital into Vietnam.

The operations of 10 Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) across the country are considered iconic for the bilateral cooperation. So far, nine out of 10 have become operational with an average occupancy of 76.5%.

In terms of politics, both countries agreed to strengthen exchanges at high-ranking levels and improve the bilateral cooperation mechanisms discussed by the two prime ministers in April 2021. They agreed to hold the 15th Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Ministerial Meeting (CMM) and the 14th Vietnam-Singapore Political Consultation in 2021.

In addition, they agreed to expand investment in the digital economy, smart city, innovation, IT, fintech, infrastructure, and logistics.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Ambassador Jaya Ratnam. Photo: Baoquocte

Vietnam and Singapore established bilateral diplomatic relations in 1973 and the relationship was elevated to Strategic Partnership in 2013.

The expansion of trade and business links between Singapore and Vietnam over the years has also been a significant factor in forging robust bilateral ties. Economic relations are underpinned by the Connectivity Framework Agreement, an overarching platform to discuss issues on bilateral economic cooperation since 2006.