Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated his Vietnamese counterpart on the country’s “decisive handling” of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Lee spoke to Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday afternoon, during which the two leaders also agreed to keep markets open and supply chains connected.
Vietnam’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has drawn international praise. The country, which has reported zero deaths from Covid-19, began easing its lockdown last month.
“I congratulated Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Vietnam’s decisive handling of the Covid-19 pandemic when we spoke this afternoon. I thanked him too, for Vietnam’s generous donations of face masks and test kits to Singapore,” Mr Lee said in a Facebook post yesterday.
“We agreed that amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, we must continue to strengthen our cooperation, and keep markets open and supply chains connected,” said Mr Lee, who added that he is happy both countries are deepening their collaboration in agri-trade for the supply of rice and other food products.
“We will also explore reopening borders for essential travel safely and gradually, when the time is right. Singapore will also continue to support Vietnam’s Asean chairmanship. I look forward to deepening our excellent ties,” he added.
Asean leaders, including PM Lee, have called for unity as the region battles the coronavirus pandemic.
During the Special Asean Summit on Covid-19 which PM Phuc chaired last month, Mr Lee called on his counterparts in the virtual meeting to maintain trade among themselves and persuade their partners to keep trade flowing, even as the global network of trade begins to fracture under stress.
At the summit, he also called for the adoption of clear guidelines across Asean so that in dealing with crises like the present, the region has “a balanced, rational approach that takes into account both health and economic considerations”.