Green Singapore

Wednesday, 2016-08-31 12:44:01
 Font Size:     |        Print

President Tran Dai Quang (L) and Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam and their spouses (Photo: VNA)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – Visiting Singapore, one can feel the bustle of life in the country, with its high-rise apartments, crowded commercial centres and streets full of cars. However, the country does not leave visitors with a stuffy feeling, thanks to its thick green trees, which cover 46% of Singapore’s total land area.

That was the impression of Nhan Dan journalist Ha Quoc Viet on his first day in Singapore while accompanying President Tran Dai Quang on his State visit to the island country on August 28-30.

Located at the southernmost point on the Malay Peninsula and having an area of only 692.7 square kilometres, Singapore’s territory consists of 64 islets with a population of 5.47 million. Despite its lack of natural resources and even fresh water, the nation has achieved miracle development, making it a prosperous and active island state.

Singapore has developed its infrastructure and established its leading position in Asia and the world in a number of industries, such as ports, shipbuilding, processing and machinery assembly. It tops Asia as a centre for oil refining. Singapore is one of pioneering countries in establishing a knowledge-based economy, and it aims to become a leading global city and a focal point in the economic network of Asia and the world by 2018.

Vietnam–Singapore relations have enjoyed fruitful development. Singapore was one of the first supporters of Vietnam’s Doi Moi (Renewal) process, and Singaporean investors have made their presence felt in Vietnam from early on and have positively participated in many fields of Vietnam’s economy. Since 1996, Singapore has been one of Vietnam’s major trade and investment partners. Bilateral trade has risen sharply in recent years, increasing from US$6.4 billion in 2005 to US$16.22 billion in 2015.

Singapore now has over 1,640 valid investment projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of nearly US$38 billion, the third-largest of the investments in Vietnam held by 116 countries and territories.

Vietnam–Singapore industrial parks (VSIP) are considered a symbol of the effectiveness of Singaporean investment projects in Vietnam, as they contribute to creating jobs and boosting Vietnam’s economy. Throughout their eleven years of operation, seven VSIPs have been established in Vietnam’s Binh Duong, Bac Ninh, Nghe An and Quang Ngai provinces and its Hai Phong city.

On his working day on August 29, President Tran Dai Quang attended a ceremony for the naming of an orchid species after him at the Botanic Garden of Singapore. The naming of the orchid species was a special diplomatic ceremony put on by Singapore to welcome high-ranking foreign guests.

Later the same day, the Vietnamese State leader attended the Singapore–Vietnam business forum, which gathered nearly 500 businesses from the two countries.

Answering the businesses’ queries, President Quang stressed that Vietnam was persistent in achieving rapid and sustainable economic development goals on the basis of stabilising its macro-economy, renewing its growth model, developing a knowledge-based economy, boosting science and technology, enhancing economic competitiveness and effectively taking part in global value chains and production networks. With a population of 92 million, Vietnam’s purchasing power has seen rapid and stable growth, he said.

He expressed his belief that both countries are quite able to double bilateral trade in the future on the backs of the ASEAN Economic Community and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“We have a promising future ahead”, he announced, reaffirming Vietnam’s wish to take the bilateral strategic partnership to a new height in accordance with each country’s potential and demand to contribute to building a prosperous, peaceful and developed ASEAN Economic Community.

The State visit of President Tran Dai Quang was warmly welcomed by Singapore’s leaders. At his meetings with Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, both sides expressed their satisfaction with the speedy and strong growth of bilateral ties since the two countries set up their Strategic Partnership in 2013. They agreed to strengthen exchanges of high-level delegations and delegations of all other levels to boost co-operation in specific sectors.

Earlier, the Vietnamese leader and his wife had paid tribute with flowers to a statue of President Ho Chi Minh at a park in front of the Asian Civilisation Museum. President Quang, his wife and a high-raking Vietnamese delegation observed one minute of silence to commemorate Uncle Ho, who devoted his entire life to the struggle to liberate Vietnam and other oppressed nations around the world.

At his meeting with the Vietnamese community in Singapore, President Tran Dai Quang expressed his delight at the solidary and achievements of Vietnamese people in Singapore.
Since 1996, Singapore has granted around 2,000 scholarships to Vietnamese students, and the number of Vietnamese students choosing to study in the country has continuously increased.

Over 12,000 Vietnamese people are now living in Singapore. Many of them are professors, experts and doctors or hold important positions in the country’s companies and industries.

While listening to the opinions and suggestions of Overseas Vietnamese in Singapore on boosting national development, President Tran Dai Quang asserted the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy of considering Overseas Vietnamese an important and integral part of the country.

He expressed his hope that the OVs would exert more positive efforts in boosting the Vietnam–Singapore bilateral relations while remembering their roots and making further contributions to the development of the motherland.