19 July 2019

SIF Paves the Way for More Cross-border Collaborations between Singapore and Vietnam

SIF Connects! Hanoi brings together Vietnamese Friends of Singapore (FOS) and members of the Singapore community to reconnect and share insights on bilateral developments at the people-to-people level.

SIF and VSFA renewed a Memorandum of Understanding
SIF and VSFA renewed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing to another five years of cooperation between Singapore and Vietnam at the people-to-people level. (Clockwise from top left): Amb Catherine Wong, Singapore’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Amb Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisation, Ambassador Nguyen Duc Hung, VSFA Vice President, and Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director.

“The longstanding support from the Vietnamese community has enabled the SIF’s work in bridging world communities to do good. Together, we have achieved many new milestones,” said SIF Chairman Ambassador Ong Keng Yong in his welcome remarks at SIF Connects! Hanoi in Vietnam.

More than 65 of our Vietnamese friends attended the event which marked 25 years of friendship between our people. Ambassador Ong shared that Singaporeans and Vietnamese had worked together on various initiatives from education and healthcare to social entrepreneurship. Recent SIF milestones in Vietnam included the mobile library programme, Words on Wheels (WoW), which had brought the love of reading to over 14,000 Vietnamese children.

Amid this backdrop of positive relations, a commitment to new joint efforts were sealed through a five-year renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the SIF and Vietnam-Singapore Friendship Association (VSFA). The MOU, first signed in 2017, reaffirmed their dedication to increase collaboration to strengthen ties and trust between their countries at the people-to-people level.

During his speech, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, said, “We are happy to renew the SIF-VSFA MOU for the next five years. Both SIF and VSFA share a common goal to engage more individuals and institutions from Singapore and Vietnam, leveraging on collective skills and resources to uplift lives.”

Singaporean and Vietnamese communities gather at SIF Connects
Singaporean and Vietnamese communities gather at SIF Connects! Hanoi, rekindling ties while celebrating enduring friendships built over 25 years of collaboration.

To help facilitate ongoing and future projects, the SIF also appointed our first Vietnamese representative. Mr Harry Pham, who will be in Ho Chi Minh City, is also a member of the inaugural 2018 ASEAN Youth Fellowship. He welcomed the opportunity to bring both countries closer together through meaningful work, something close to his heart.

He said, “To many people, Singapore is known for its cleanliness, efficiency, and meritocracy. But there is another Singapore that I know. The country is about kindness, compassion, and humanity. I’m thus very honoured to receive this position. This will help me in two things: I can continue to serve the communities in Vietnam better, more effectively, together with the SIF. And secondly, it gives me the opportunity to bridge Singapore and Vietnam at the people-to-people level.”

The next catch-up with our international friends will be at SIF Connects! Singapore in December. Stay tuned for updates on our Facebook and Instagram.