According to Giau, leaders of Singapore attached high importance to the visit by NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. In her meetings with President Halimad Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Deputy-Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Lim Biow Chuan, Vietnam was congratulated on successfully hosting the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang.

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau

Particularly, Singaporean PM Lee emphasized that the success of the Week paved the way for the development of APEC in general and of the region in particular in the coming times. He also spoke highly of Vietnam’s contributions to the progress of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a significant deal replacing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). At present, participating countries are rolling out follow-up stages so that the agreement could be soon ratified.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lim held that many Singaporean companies are interested in and want to invest and expand business in the Vietnam market. Singaporean leaders believe that Vietnam is a good destination for investors thanks to its political order and sound policies. Additionally, Vietnam has a young but well-trained human resources market and huge potential in natural sources, he said.

As Singapore undertakes the chair of ASEAN and the Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament takes the chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in 2018, Singapore asked Vietnam to share its experiences and support Singapore.

Both NA Chairwoman Ngan and Singaporean leaders held that Vietnam and Singapore have seen strong development in their bilateral strategic partnership over the past years.

Regarding their parliamentary relations, Giau held that this was the official visit of a Vietnamese NA top leader in the last 14 years. During their talks, the two sides agreed to continue enhancing their cooperation through multi-faceted fora, such as the AIPA and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). They also pledged to support the Governments to effectively roll out signed agreements in order to expand their relations.

Giau also highlighted that the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum attracted 35 Vietnamese companies, 15 of them are operating and want to find opportunities in Singapore, as well as 190 Singaporean firms. Many of the Singaporean companies participating in the forum showed particular interest in the Vietnam market.

Meanwhile, during her visit to Australia, NA Chairwoman Ngan met with almost all Australian leaders, with the exception of the Australian Prime Minister who was called away for an urgent unscheduled working trip. However, the Australian PM had a phone conversation with Ngan to discuss issues of mutual concern.

In her meetings with various political leaders of Australia, both sides highly appreciated the decision to upgrade bilateral relations to that of bilateral comprehensive partnership next year, as per decisions reached by their respective PMs.

They stressed that Vietnam and Australia have gained considerable cooperation achievements in the fields of politics, socio-economics and trade, education and training, culture, public security, national defense and science-technology.

Furthermore, Australian officials reaffirmed the importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes and the maintenance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and for over-flights in the East Sea (known as South China Sea).

Of particular note, the NA Chairwoman also visited the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). These institutes could help further expand science-technology cooperation between the two countries in the coming time.

In general, Ngan’s visits to Singapore and Australia contributed to bolstering the bilateral parliamentary ties in particular and the external affairs of Vietnam in 2017 in general.

Translated by Van Hieu