SINGAPORE - Two new agreements covering cruise tourism and investment facilitation were signed between Singapore and Vietnam on Friday.
Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang was in Hue, Vietnam from April 16 to 17 to co-chair the 11th Singapore-Vietnam Connectivity Ministerial Meeting with his Vietnam's Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh.
The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) covering collaboration in cruise tourism was signed between Singapore Tourism Board and Vietnam National Tourism Agency.
Under the MOC, Singapore and Vietnam will conduct activities such as cruise workshops and encourage exchange of information on regional cruise tourism developments. It will not only provide Vietnam with further expertise to develop their cruise industry, but also help spur the development of the industry in Southeast Asia.
This will further enable South-east Asia to tap on the potential of more than two million cruise passengers travelling on some 980 Asia-to-Asia cruise products in 2015. The MOC is also a significant step towards ASEAN realising its full potential as the world's next cruising region, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) focuses on collaboration between Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Vietnam's Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), to facilitate investments into Vietnam via UOB's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) advisory unit in Ho Chi Minh City. This advisory unit provides a dedicated service to companies expanding into and out of Vietnam, by offering access to UOB's full suite of banking solutions, network and strategic partners such as professional service providers and business associations.
Mr Lim Hng Kiang said: "Singapore companies can contribute to Vietnam's economic development in a wide range of sectors, including urban solutions, retail and food services, logistics, telecommunications as well as tourism and hospitality," he said.
In 2014, Singapore was Vietnam's third largest foreign investor, with approximately US$32.7 billion (S$44 billion) in registered cumulative investments. In 2014, bilateral trade rose by 17 per cent year-on-year to reach S$20.4 billion, making Vietnam, Singapore's 13th largest trading partner.
During his visit, Mr Lim also met Mr Nguyen Ngoc Thien, Party Secretary of Thua Thien - Hue Province, and Mr Nguyen Van Cao, Chairman of the People's Committee of the Thua Thien - Hue Province.