Vietnam and Switzerland have agreed to accelerate negotiations on a trade agreement between the Southeast Asian nation and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member, the governmental portal reported.
|Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (l) and Switzerland's Vice President Guy Parmelin (r). Source: VGP.
The trade deal would create favorable conditions for greater cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries, said Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh in a meeting with Vice President and Head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Guy Parmelin in Geneva on January 20.
The meeting was held on the sideline of the annual 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, as well as in preparation for the 50th anniversary of establishment of Vietnam-Switzerland diplomatic relations in 2021.
In 2019, bilateral trade turnover reached US$2.7 billion, while Switzerland is investing in 157 projects in Vietnam with registered capital of US$1.95 billion, standing 19th out of 132 countries and territories having direct investment in Vietnam.
Both leaders said the two governments would continue to promote and support cooperation between businesses from two countries, particularly in Vietnam’s priority fields that Switzerland has strong expertise, including finance-banking, insurance, manufacturing and processing, pharmacy, agriculture, and tourism, among others.
Deputy PM Binh thanked Switzerland’s support through cooperation programs in the fields of human resources training, urban and rural development, and poverty reduction.
Binh asked Switzerland to continue supporting Vietnam in achieving sustainable development goals, focusing on reforming the banking-finance sector, enhancing capacity in global integration, international trade, insurance, tackling climate change, and enhancing sustainable development of tourism.
Binh and Parmelin exchanged views on cooperation in education and learning Swiss experience in establishing high quality education system, while facilitating cooperation agreement between Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.
The two countries shared the same view in resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea and other regions via peaceful means and international laws, including the 1982 United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
|Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh in a meeting with Governor of Bern Christoph Ammann. Source: VGP.
In a separate meeting with Governor of Bern Christoph Ammann, Vietnam's Deputy PM asked the city of Bern and its business community to continue supporting the negotiations on a trade deal between Vietnam and the EFTA.
In response, Ammann said the city fully supports the Swiss government’s efforts in the negotiation process and would continue to cooperate with major cities in Vietnam, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.