Vietnam – Singapore Business Forum: Vietnam A Rising Star in The Region

Vietnam is described as a rising star in the region with its stable policies, dynamic economy, and reform efforts.

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the Vietnam – Singapore business forum. Photo: VNA
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the Vietnam – Singapore business forum. Photo: VNA

Vietnam encourages partners and investors to engage in digital transformation, green transition, circular economy, innovation, and hi-tech and low-emission development in the country, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stated while attending a Vietnam – Singapore business forum on February 10 as part of his official visit to Singapore, VNA reported.

In his remarks, the Vietnamese leader informed participants about the results of his talks with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, noting that the increasingly strengthened relationship will create a favourable environment for partners and investors of the two sides to further promote win-win cooperation.

He affirmed that Vietnam consistently pursues the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization, and diversification of relations; and works hard on comprehensively and effectively promoting international integration.

The country is a good friend and trustworthy partner of international community, he stressed.

He stressed that the Vietnamese government is working to maintain macro-economic stability, ensure major economic balances and remove bottlenecks in the national economy in terms of institutions and laws, infrastructure and human resources.

The country also aims to develop supply chains, and build a stable environment along with policies, and ensure transparency, he added.

Chinh expressed his belief that with the resolve of both sides as well as the close friendship between the two peoples, economic ties will remain an important pillar in the bilateral relationship and serve as an engine to elevate it to a new height in the spirit of “harmonious interests and shared risks.”

At the forum. Photo: VGP
At the forum. Photo: VGP

Speaking at the forum, Singapore’s Second Minister for Industry and Trade and Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng highlighted economic relations between the two countries.

The bilateral partnership in digital economy and green economy, established during PM Chinh’s visit, will create a basis for enhancing the two countries’ relations in energy, infrastructure, innovation and connectivity, he said, adding that the large number of delegates attending this forum also demonstrates the Singaporean business community’s interest in the Vietnamese market.

At the forum, representatives of organisations and businesses discussed issues considered key to stabilising the macro-economy, ensuring major balances, and promoting economic growth in the coming years.

They showed their wish to invest and expand investment in Vietnam, especially in green economy and digital economy.

A representative of Standard Chartered Bank described Vietnam as a rising star in the region with its stable policies, dynamic economy, and reform efforts.

With its commitments to climate change response and net zero emissions by 2050, the bank said it believes Vietnam will continue to create opportunities for foreign investors.

The Sherpa Company Limited, a subsidiary of Masan Group Corporation (Masan), received a licence to invest in Singapore at a ceremony on February 10. Photo: VNA
The Sherpa Company Limited, a subsidiary of Masan Group Corporation (Masan), received a licence to invest in Singapore at a ceremony on February 10. Photo: VNA

On the occasion, the PM and representatives from ministries and agencies of the two countries witnessed the handover of some decisions and cooperation agreements, including a decision approving investment in building the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) Nghe An II, an agreement between the PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC) and Sembcorp Utilities of Singapore, and another between the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

The Singaporean Business Association said a Singapore Regional Business Forum will be held in Hanoi this year as part of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The same day, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on February 10 met leading Singaporean and Singapore-based businesses and investment funds, as part of his ongoing official visit to the country.

PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Tow Heng Tan, Deputy Chairman, Non-executive and Non-independent Director Sembcorp Industries. Photo: VNA
PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Tow Heng Tan, Deputy Chairman, Non-executive and Non-independent Director Sembcorp Industries. Photo: VNA

Receiving Tow Heng Tan, Deputy Chairman, Non-executive and Non-independent Director Sembcorp Industries, which specialises in providing energy transition and urban development solutions, Chinh hailed the firm’s effective cooperation with Becamex of Vietnam to develop industrial parks (IPs) to international standards in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Government leader suggested that Sembcorp continue to expand investment in IPs in more localities in Vietnam, while considering the construction of exclusive zones for investors in the field of digital economy and high-tech application.

Tow said that his company is working with Vietnamese partners to form the VSIP Company to build 10 VSIPs in seven localities of Vietnam. He said that the firm hopes to cooperate closely with Vietnam to launch more VSIPs in Lang Son and Nghe An provinces and implement offshore power projects for exporting to Singapore.

PM Chinh pledged that the Vietnamese Government will support and create optimal conditions for Sembcorp to operate in Vietnam.

Following the meeting, he witnessed the exchange of cooperation agreement between PTSC and Sembcorp Utilities in jointly developing offshore wind power projects to export to Singapore.

PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Lee Chong Min, Founder and Managing Partner of CMIA Capital Partners Singapore. Photo: VNA
PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Lee Chong Min, Founder and Managing Partner of CMIA Capital Partners Singapore. Photo: VNA

At a meeting with Lee Chong Min, Founder and Managing Partner of CMIA Capital Partners Singapore, and Nina Yang, CEO of Surbana Jurong (SJ), PM Chinh said that leaders of Vietnam and Singapore encourage the strengthening of cooperation in connecting the two economies on the digital platform with high technology investment and transfer, and green growth.

Lee said that in April 2022, the CMIA signed a memorandum of understanding with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the People’s Committee of the city’s Cu Chi district to develop a high-tech agricultural ecological urban area in the city. The CMIA is proposed to be the investor and the SJ will be the master planning designer and management unit of the project.

He said the CMIA hopes that Vietnam will promptly approve the adjustment of planning and the investment policy of the project, while allowing the CMIA to be its investor and developer.

The PM welcomed the initiative of CMIA and SJ to develop the project in Cu Chi district of HCM City.

He said that the Vietnamese Government has directed the building of transportation projects to connect Cu Chi, HCM City and nearby Binh Duong province to boost the district’s growth. He asked for the CMIA’s engagement in and consultation to the building of the project to optimise the potential and advantages of the district and the region. The Vietnamese side will assist investors during the implementation of the project, he vowed.

PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO of Temasek Holdings. Photo: VNA
PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO of Temasek Holdings. Photo: VNA

Meeting Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, CEO of Temasek Holdings which poured over USD 1 billion of direct investment in Vietnam in the 2024-2021 period, and the owner of many major companies of Vietnam such as VNG, Scommerce, Golden Gate and Vietcombank, PM Chinh praised Temasek’s cooperation with and support to Vietnamese partners, especially start-ups, over the past nearly 20 years.

He proposed that the firm expand its investment in Vietnam in the fields of infrastructure (hard and soft), green transformation, circular economy, innovation, chip production, and the building of the innovation centre in HCM City, while continuing to actively contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of Vietnam.

PM Chinh also suggested that Temasek, with a large network of international partners and customers, will serve as a bridge to bring foreign investors to Vietnam in the coming time. The Vietnamese government is committed to accompanying with and creating favourable conditions for the firm to invest and operate business effectively and successfully in Vietnam, he said.

During a meeting with Wee Ee Cheong, CEO of United Overseas Bank Search (UOB), one of the largest banks in Asia that is operating UOB Vietnam Ltd., PM Chinh said that Vietnam prioritises green and sustainable financial development, especially the green bond market, in order to support the implementation of Vietnam’s National Strategy on Green Growth for the 2021-2030 period. This is an important investment attraction channel for investors interested in sustainable development, green and renewable energy projects, he said.

The Vietnamese Government leader asked UOB to introduce and propose potential investors who its are partners and members to invest in Vietnam, while continuing connecting more Singaporean firms with Vietnam in the coming time.

Lauding UOB’s commitments, efforts and engagement in the Vietnamese financial market, the PM asked UOB to share experiences with Vietnamese partners and get involved in the building of an international financial centre in HCM City.

PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation. Photo: VNA
PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation. Photo: VNA

The same day, PM Chinh also received Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation which has operated 22 projects worth over USD 3.6 billion in Vietnam. He welcomed and encouraged Keppel to expand investment in the fields of green economy, circular economy, renewable energy, green infrastructure, information technology, smart city, health care, and education in Vietnam.

The leader suggested that the firm invest in strategic infrastructure development in Vietnam, especially social housing, housing for workers, and infrastructure of industrial parks.

PM Chinh pledged that Vietnam will accompany with and provide optimal conditions for the firm to operate in Vietnam.

Hannah Nguyen