Switzerland offers emergency aid package to Vietnam

VOV.VN - The Swiss Government has decided to provide Vietnam with an emergency aid package of 500,000 COVID-19 testing kits, 300,000 face masks, 30 ventilators, and other medical supplies.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted a reception for visiting Swiss Vice President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Hanoi on August 5, during which he thanked the Swiss Government for the timely and valuable assistance in the context that Vietnam is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese cabinet leader asked Switzerland to help Vietnam access COVID-19 vaccine supply sources as swiftly as possible, while suggesting both sides augment cooperation in technological transfer and production of pharmaceuticals, including COVID-19 vaccines and treatment drugs.  

Host and guest reviewed outcomes of cooperation between the two countries over the past five decades and outlined orientations to take the relations to new heights in the time ahead. They also touched upon preparations for Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to Switzerland.

They consented to accelerate negotiations for the signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member.  

PM Chinh asked Switzerland to create optimal conditions for Vietnamese goods and farm produce to enter the Swiss and EU markets, bolster cooperation with Vietnam in sectors of Switzerland’s strength, and early research and build bilateral cooperation projects on digital transformation. 

The Vietnamese Government chief expressed his gratitude for Switzerland's development aid worth US$650 million granted for Vietnam over the past more than three decades.

The Swiss Vice President, in turn, told Chinh that the Swiss Government and people greatly evaluate Vietnam's effective use of the aid, adding that his nation will provide Vietnam with more official development assistance (ODA) during the 2021 – 2024 period.

The leaders consented to continue working closely at multilateral regional and international forums, with Ignazio Cassis hailing the role and contributions of ASEAN and Vietnam in seeking solutions for the Myanmar issue. 

They underlined the importance of ensuring free navigation and navigation, security, peace and stability in the East Sea as well as of settling disputes in the waters via peaceful measures in line with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On the same day, Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan also gave a reception for Swiss Vice President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

During the reception, the two sides discussed a range of measures to help enterprises from the two countries expand cooperation in potential fields, such as finance-banking, pharmaceuticals, and digital economy, among others.

Xuan also expressed her sincere thanks for the support Switzerland has given to Vietnam in term of official development assistance as well as in the fight against COVID-19.

The Swiss guest said President Guy Parmelin hopes President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will early pay an official visit to Switzerland, making it easer for both sides to reach an agreement on major orientations for bilateral cooperation moving forward.

The two sides also looked into the prospect of an early finalization of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EFTA in which Switzerland is a member.

They concurred to boost closer cooperation and offer mutual support at multilateral forums, and reiterated the importance of maintaining navigation and overflight freedom in the East Sea, while underlining the need to comply with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), thus contributing to a peaceful and stable environment for development in the region and across the globe.