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Singaporean PM hopes to boost cooperation with HCM City

Singapore hopes to foster comprehensive cooperative relations with Ho Chi Minh City, a proactive and innovative city with positive contributions to both Vietnam and the region, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on August 26.

Receiving Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on the day, Lee stressed Singapore always values the ties with Vietnam as well as Ho Chi Minh City, especially when both are members of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.

He said he supports bilateral collaboration in the fields of urban develoment and education and training, and asked Ho Chi Minh City and competent authorities of Singapore to work together so as to ink several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the time ahead.

Regarding high-quality human resources training, Lee suggested the Vietnamese southern hub to pen early English language teaching programme for pre-school children.

Nhan, for his part, highlighted that as a leading economic hub in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is facing a wide range of challenges, including urban infrastructure development lagging behind urbanisation pace and population growth, and climate change.

He expected his Singapore visit will promote cooperation opportunities, helping the city be well-prepared for its development plan in the next 5-10 years.

The official recommended Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore ASEAN hold conferences on sustainable development of urban areas with focus on climate change issue, and share experience in startup and innovation on a rotary basis.

Lee spoke highly of the initiative and endorsed the organisation of such conferences and also suggested inviting many other cities in the region like Bangkok (Thailand), Manila (the Philippines), and Yangon (Myanmar) to join the events.

The same day, Nhan had a working session with leaders of the Ministry of Education, during which he wished to boost education collaboration with Singapore to standardise education managers’ capacity, build international-standard higher education programme, set up laboratories in artificial intelligence  (AI), IT and communications, data science, automation and finance. Besides, the city wants to work with Singapore in higher education accreditation.

Meeting with Peter Ho, Senior Advisor at the Centre for Strategic Futures (CSF), Nhan said that Ho Chi Minh City is interested in CSF’s study about economic risks, political geography, climate change, food security, diseases and population development.

He expressed his hope that the CSF will give consultation to the city in the fields.

In a working session with the Singaporean Land Transport Authority, Nhan wished to exchange experience in smart transport system planning, construction, operation and management, and study advanced technologies applied in transport management.

Singaporean authorities agreed to promote cooperation in the fields of mutual interest.