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Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum 2011, from November 30 to December 2, will help reaffirm Vietnam’s attractive investment environment in general and the acceleration of cooperation between the two countries in particular. Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI vice chairman and co-chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC-Vietnam) talks with VIR about this special event.
What is your assessment of current relations between Vietnam and Singapore within the cooperative framework of ASEAN?
Vietnam and Singapore established diplomatic relations in 1973, and they have been developing steadily since then. Since 1991, and especially after Vietnam joined ASEAN in July 1995, bilateral relations have moved to a new stage of development. Vietnam and Singapore have become leading trade partners.
The two nations have seen efficient cooperation in trade and investment. Singapore remains a leading investor in Vietnam and there has been an increase in both the number of projects and the amount of investment capital. Economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries have continued to expand since the signing of the Connectivity Framework Agreement.
In the first ten months of 2011, Singapore implemented 81 new projects in Vietnam with total capital of over $1.4 billion, thus becoming the second biggest investor to Vietnam. Singaporean investors are active in almost all economic sectors in Vietnam such as oil and gas exploration and exploitation, industrial production and agro-forestry-fishery processing with a focus on fields of infrastructure and real estate services and trading. Two-way trade reached $10 billion in 2010, a fourfold increase on 2000.
Has Vietnam – Singapore Business Forum 2011 attracted a large number of Singaporean businesses to Vietnam?
The Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum 2011 has attracted the participation of some 300 representatives from the two countries, including more than 100 Singaporean enterprises, for example, Capitaland, Savills, Mercatus, Keppel Land and Sembcorp. This will be the biggest trade and investment promotion event involving the two nations in recent times.
Could you please give us more about the schedule of Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum?
On the first day of the three-day event, leaders of ministries and sectors, economists and Vietnamese and Singaporean businessmen will give an update on Vietnam’s macro economy and investment environment.
On the second day, the forum will highlight four sectors: banking-finance services, property, high-level education and supply chains. On the third day, enterprises will survey investment opportunities in the northern provinces. There will also be an exhibition of products, services and achievements of businesses from the two countries.
What do you expect from Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum 2011 as the head of the organising board?
We hope that the participation of policymakers, businesses and researchers will help the event make a positive contribution to Vietnam’s socio-economic development as well as enhancing cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore.
We also hope it will help boost ASEAN integration and regional and global economic integration programmes such as East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).