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Vietnam, Singapore boost cooperation on cybersecurity

Image credit: Nhan Dan

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) held a virtual ministerial meeting on 29 September to discuss bilateral cooperation on cybersecurity.

According to a news report, the Vietnamese side was led by the Minister of Public Security General, To Lam, and the Singaporean delegation was led by the Minister in charge of cybersecurity, S. Iswaran, at the MCI.

Participants had exchanges related to cyber strategy as well as the process of building and completing cybersecurity standards in Vietnam. They also discussed preparations for the 5th edition of the Singapore International Cyber Week 2020 (SICW-5) and the 5th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC-5), scheduled to be held online from Singapore from 5-9 October. MPS Deputy Minister Lieutenant General, Luong Tam Quang, will lead the delegation from the Vietnamese ministry at both the SICW-5 and AMCC-5.

Both sides discussed cybersecurity challenges, specifically, regarding the complex impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic, while sharing information about the cybersecurity situation in each country, helping to boost coordination in handling related cases.

Speaking at the conference, Minister To Lam emphasised that in Vietnam, the application and development of ICT and the internet are growing strongly, contributing to socio-economic development. By the end of January this year, Vietnam had 68.17 million internet users, accounting for 70% of the population. However, the country has been facing risks and challenges from cyberspace.

According to Lam, Vietnam has focused on enhancing its cybersecurity capacity regarding important information systems in national security through the enactment of the Law on Cyber Security in 2018 and by implementing the National Digital Transformation Program by 2025. The aim is to bring the country into the group of the 50 leading countries in e-government on the e-Government Development Index (EGDI), developed by the United Nations (UN).

Additionally, Vietnam has developed codes of conduct on cyberspace based on the 11 principles and voluntary standards established by the UN to contribute to maintaining healthy and safe cyberspace that enables effective information security and safety.

In the field of international cooperation, in 2020, the MPS will preside over the 14th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC-14), scheduled for November, and recently the country has actively participated in the 20th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC-20).

In its role, the MPS has identified cybercrime as the main front on which to strengthen coordination with law enforcement agencies from other ASEAN countries, especially Singapore – the host country on cooperation in the prevention and control of cybercrime in the AMMTC mechanism. Vietnam also commits to further promote this work, with the theme “For a cohesive ASEAN against transnational crime” that the MPS has launched.

On the occasion, Minister To Lam also proposed various measures to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity, information security, cybercrime, and high-tech crime prevention with Singapore. For his part, Minister S. Iswaran agreed with the proposals to promote bilateral cooperation in the field of cybercrime prevention, while affirming a commitment from the government of Singapore to continue to strengthen cooperation with all countries in the region and around the world towards safe cyberspace.

Iswaran also gave recommendations to further strengthen cybersecurity coordination between the two sides as well as in the region during the new normal, including the sending of experts to round table discussions for extensive conversations on boosting cooperation in the field.

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