Singapore prime minister visits Vietnam to boost ties

Vietnam and Singapore have signed several business agreements as the island state seeks to boost investment and trade with the communist country during a visit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Among the six memorandum of understanding which were signed Thursday and witnessed by Lee and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, two were for industrial parks to be developed by Singapore's Sembcorp in central Vietnam.

Lee told reporters that he hoped Singapore, one of Vietnam's top investors and trading partners, would increase its investments in the country.

Lee said Singapore and Vietnam, both members of regional group ASEAN, share an interest in the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.

Vietnam is the vocal opponent of China's expansion in the South China Sea.