President S R Nathan met Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung today. Prime Minister Dung briefed President Nathan on recent developments in Vietnam. They reaffirmed the desire of both countries to explore more opportunities for cooperation and broaden the multi-faceted relations between the two countries, including the exchange of youth leaders. Besides expanding cooperation under the Connectivity Framework Agreement, Prime Minister Dung also welcomed Singapore hospitals to consider setting up operations in Vietnam. President Nathan and Prime Minister Dung agreed that Singapore and Vietnam should work together to speed up ASEAN integration, including the ratification of the ASEAN Charter.
President Nathan also called on the General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nong Duc Manh. They discussed the challenges facing Vietnam and how Singapore and Vietnam could work together for mutual benefit. Separately, over meals today, President Nathan met and exchanged views with various Vietnamese ministers and Party officials. These included DPM Hoang Trung Hai and Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen The Thao.
President Nathan laid wreaths and paid his respect at the Monument for National Heroes and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. He witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Changi Airports International and the Vietnam Aviation Authority to embark on a study project on the development of and investment in the Phu Bai international airport. President was also briefed by Keppel Land on its proposed landmark "Saigon Centre" project - an 88-storey integrated development comprising a hotel as well as retail and office space. It would feature state-of-the-art green technology in building design, and is poised to be one of the tallest buildings in Vietnam when completed.