Vietnam, Singapore Boost Economic Ties

Vietnam and Singapore discussed ways to boost bilateral co-operation during the fifth session of the Vietnam-Singapore Inter-Governmental Committee for Economic Co-operation in Hanoi on June 1.

The two sides focused their discussion on bilateral cooperation and reviewed Singapore's investment in Vietnam in the past years, including the agreement on helping train Vietnamese banking staff.

So far, Singapore has been one of the top foreign direct investors and the biggest export-import market of Vietnam. Currently Singapore has 215 on-going projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital worth US $6,419 million, of which some US $1,451 million has been realised generating 16,000 jobs, stated the data of Projects Management Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The total revenues of these project reach US $1,200 million, of which export value accounts for US $120 million, including a contribution of US $100 million to the state budget of Vietnam.

In terms of trade from 1996-1998, the bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Singapore saw an annual total of US $3.3 billion. In 1998, Vietnam exported to Singapore 4 million tonnes of crude oil, 400,000 tonnes of rice, over US $21 million worth of sea products and nearly US $26 million of garment products.

However, the rate of realised investment capital is still low as against the registered capital, only 22 per cent and the volume of exported products has only reached 11 per cent of the total turnover, according to some experts assessing Singapore's investment activities in Vietnam. In trade relations Vietnam's imports are still excessive with an annual average of US $960 million in the past 3 years.

(Nhan Dan, June 4, 1999)