Singapore, Vietnam Explores Energy Tie-ups, Industry 4.0

Solar panels
Solar panels are seen during the inauguration of world’s first-ever 'island' of solar panels in a tailings pond of the Los Bronces copper mine of Anglo American, on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido)

Singapore and Vietnamese ministers discussed possibilities of collaborations in smart cities and energy as well as Industry 4.0 and start-ups during the 14th Singapore Vietnam Connectivity Meeting in Singapore on March 13.

Chan Chun Sing, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Singapore, co-chaired the meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. The two ministers discussed their interest in working together to develop Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Danang into smart cities.

They also discussed the possibilities in collaborating in liquefied natural gas and solar-related projects. The proposed projects are part of two Memoranda of Understanding signed by Enterprise Singapore with Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade's Department of Oil, Gas and Coal and Electricity Renewable Energy Authority in 2018.

The two leaders also discussed the possibility of their private sectors to be involved in the implementation of Vietnam's Industry 4.0 development plans. They also discussed how they will strengthen both their start-up ecosystems.

The ministry's Department of Science, Education, NaturalResources, and Environment inked a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Manufacturing Federation to develop business and project opportunities in high-tech parks with member companies and businesses of the federation to promote innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Vietnam.

The Singapore Vietnam Connectivity Meeting is an annual event which started in 2006 under the Singapore-Vietnam Connectivity Framework. The last meeting made it possible for both nations to review the progress made under the six sectors of the framework that includes investment, information technology, and communications, finance, trade and services, education and training, and transport.

The two ministers agreed to add innovation and technology as the seventh field of collaboration as a priority in the content of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

During the meeting, the two ministers agreed to expand the existing cooperation on education to include technology. The two nations will support innovation and exchanges of technopreneurs and talent. Singapore and Vietnam's bilateral trade doubled over the last 10 years reaching S$20.9 in 2018. Singapore has investments in Vietnam's regions and sectors that include services, processing and manufacturing, and real estate.

The country is the leading ASEAN investor and the third largest foreign investor in Vietnam at the end of 2018. Its cumulative investment reached more or less s$63 billion in more than 2,000 projects in 45 out of 63 provinces in Vietnam.

The last meeting was witnessed by officials from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transport, Enterprise Singapore, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Info-communications Media Development Authority, Singapore Tourism Board and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.

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