Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing co-chaired the the 14th Connectivity Ministerial Meeting (CMM) between Singapore and Vietnam in Singapore on March 13th, 2019.

The annual CMM has played a key role in strengthening bilateral ties and facilitating trade and investment relations between the two countries since it was established in 2006 under the Singapore-Vietnam Connectivity Framework. During the 14th CMM, both countries reviewed the good progress of the six sectors of economic cooperation under the Singapore-Vietnam Connectivity Framework, namely: (i) investment; (ii) information technology and communications; (iii) finance; (iv) trade and services; (v) education and training; and (vi) transport. 

 On smart cities, both sides expressed interest to work together in key Vietnamese cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. In the area of energy, as part of the two MOUs signed by Enterprise Singapore with Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Oil, Gas and Coal and Electricity Renewable Energy Authority in April 2018, both sides expressed interest to collaborate further on LNG and solar-related projects. 

Both sides also discussed ways to implement Vietnam’s Industry 4.0 development plans, involving private sector companies in both countries. With regard to Singapore and Vietnam’s start-up sectors, the two ministers discussed opportunities to strengthen the inter-linkages between each other’s start-up ecosystems. The Ministers noted the importance of innovation and technology, and further agreed to expand the cooperation on education to include technology, to support innovation and exchanges of technopreneurs and talent.

In addition, both ministers acknowledged that the initiatives on cooperation in the digital economy would not only facilitate Vietnam’s digitalisation efforts but also foster greater digital integration in ASEAN. The ministers also noted the positive outcomes following the 13th CMM in 2017. For example, UOB received approval for its foreign-owned subsidiary bank (FOSB) licence and successfully commenced operations in July 2018. 

 Bilateral trade figures between Singapore and Vietnam have doubled over the past decade to reach S$20.9 billion in 2018. Singapore’s investments in Vietnam are diversified in various geographical regions and sectors, including services, processing and manufacturing, and real estate. Singapore remained the top investor from ASEAN and third largest foreign investor in Vietnam, as at end 2018. Singapore’s cumulative investments reached approximately S$63 billion in more than 2,000 projects in 45 out of 63 provinces in Vietnam.

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