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Vietnam and Switzerland to promote economic cooperation
Phi Nhat 21:27, 2021/07/21
Finance banking and insurance are Swiss businesses’ advantages but there are a few that have invested in Vietnam.

Vietnam and Switzerland need to grasp opportunities for boosting economic cooperation, especially in the banking sector, Vietnamese and Swiss delegates shared the view at a workshop in Geneva.

 A high-voltage factory of ABB, the 25-year-establishment Swiss company in Vietnam. Photo: ABB

Speaking at a workshop entitled “Vietnam: A robust and open market opportunities for Swiss enterprises and investors” on July 20, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations Office in Geneva said, the two countries have a history of bilateral cooperation based on each country's strengths.

It will bring great potentials for Swiss businesses investing in Vietnam, especially when Vietnam is transforming its economic development model towards the one based on high technology and green and sustainable growth, Mai said.

The launch of the event also aimed at introducing investment, and trade opportunities for Swiss businesses as well as this country’s French-speaking community to Vietnam, promoting Vietnam’s culture, people, and cuisine.

It was held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Switzerland (1971-2021).

Vietnam-Switzerland economic relations have made significant progress in recent years. Switzerland was Vietnam's sixth largest European investor and the 19th among 132 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian country in 2020.

Currently, more than 100 Swiss businesses operate in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighboring localities.

Nguyen Thi Thuc, Founder and President of Swiss-Vietnamese Business Gateway (SVBG), said the Vietnamese market with nearly 100 million consumers and the increasing purchasing power will be a great opportunity for European businesses.

The fields of finance-banking and insurance are Swiss businesses’ advantage but few of them have invested in Vietnam. In order to attract Swiss investment, it is necessary to organize more seminars like this event, she said.

In early July, the State Bank of Vietnam and the Embassy of Switzerland to Vietnam signed a bilateral agreement for the new Swiss Bank Executive Training program (Swiss BET) to help improve the capacity of Vietnamese bank executives.

The program will run from 2022 to 2027, with a budget of CHF5 million (US$5.4 million) which is a grant from the Swiss government. The Swiss Finance Institute, the executor agency, will train more than 240 Vietnamese bank executives and hundreds of central bank staff on state-of-the-art banking management practices. 

From the view of a Swiss enterprise, Felix Urech, CEO of Enriching Company, who has been to Vietnam many times, shared his experience about the great changes and development achievements in Vietnam as well as the great potentials that are really attractive to Swiss businesses.

Besides good strategies and efforts of businesses and foreign investors, the support of local authorities in Vietnam is very important to realize trade and investment opportunities, he added.

According to Swiss lawyer Pierre Schifferli, Vietnam's legal system has been built up and basically covered all socio-economic areas. Vietnam has reached good results in terms of international integration through signing many free trade agreements (FTA), including the EU-Vietnam FTA and Vietnam-UK FTA. 

Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which comprises Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, are also negotiating for an FTA, he said.

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