Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam co-chaired the 13th Singapore-Vietnam Bilateral Consultations via videoconference on 15 December 2020.
Permanent Secretary Chee and Vice Minister Dung reaffirmed the excellent state of the Strategic Partnership between Singapore and Vietnam. They expressed appreciation for the mutual support rendered amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including to the nationals residing in each other’s countries and the facilitation of their return home, the sharing of information and best practices, and the mutual contribution of medical supplies and equipment. They agreed that multilateral cooperation on the development, manufacture, and distribution of vaccines was essential to mount an effective international response to the pandemic. They affirmed the importance of enhancing cooperation to combat the economic impact of the pandemic, including through boosting economic linkages, resuming air connectivity, facilitating travel between both countries, and maintaining supply chain connectivity. Both sides agreed to expeditiously conclude ongoing discussions to facilitate essential business and official travel through a Green Lane arrangement, and to reinstate regular commercial return flights between the two countries. They tasked officials to finalise the Green Lane agreement by early next year. Singapore will be among the first few countries with which Vietnam will resume regularised essential business and official travel.
Permanent Secretary Chee and Vice Minister Dung reviewed Singapore and Vietnam’s wide-ranging and substantive cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, finance, transport, labour, food and agriculture, technical assistance, and defence and security. They agreed that there were opportunities to expand our cooperation in emerging areas such as start-ups and innovation, digital economy, legal and judicial cooperation, cybersecurity, and Smart Nation initiatives. They also had productive discussions on increasing agri-trade cooperation between the two countries. Both sides exchanged views on regional and international developments. They emphasised the importance of strengthening ASEAN Unity and Centrality, deepening economic integration, and upholding multilateralism. Permanent Secretary Chee congratulated Vietnam on its successful ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and outstanding leadership of ASEAN’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
15 DECEMBER 2020