|Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (L) and Vice President and head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Guy Parmelin (Photo: VGP)
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh had talks with Vice President and head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Guy Parmelin on January 20 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 annual meeting in Davos.
During the talks, they consented to jointly hold celebrations for the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.
Parmelin congratulated Vietnam on its socio-economic achievements last year while expressing his confidence that the country will fulfill the role of a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure and the ASEAN Chair 2020.
Deputy PM Binh wished that both sides would offer mutual support at multilateral forums, the United Nations and the ASEAN – Switzerland cooperation framework.
Last year’s bilateral trade reached US$2.7 billion. Switzerland had run 157 projects totally capitalized at US$1.95 billion, ranking 19th out of the 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
The officials affirmed that the two governments will continue providing support for Swiss and Vietnamese firms, especially in fields of Switzerland’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as finance-banking, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, farm produce and tourism.
Both sides will continue accelerating negotiations on the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), to which Switzerland is a member, thus meeting the demand of the two economies.
Binh thanked Switzerland for development cooperation programmes for Vietnam in the areas of personnel training, rural and urban development, and poverty reduction, helping to realize sustainable development goals in Vietnam.
He asked the European country to continue assisting Vietnam in stabilising macro-economy, reforming finance-banking, improving the capacity of global integration, coping with climate change, as well as enhancing joint work across sustainable tourism, exports, labour market and social insurance with Vietnamese localities.
Regarding education, the pair shared experiences in improving high-quality tertiary and vocational education in combination with science-technology development, and discussed increasing scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in Switzerland in the realms of law, banking, technology and tourism.
They also greatly valued the cooperation statement between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.
Binh suggested the Swiss government continue offering the best possible conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to stabilise their lives and enhance their role in stepping up bilateral ties.
He hailed Switzerland’s positive contributions to maintaining peace, security and development in the world.
The two leaders underlined the significance of the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the East Sea as well as other regions.
During a meeting with Governor of Bern Canton Christoph Ammann, Binh said Vietnam always treasures the development of friendship and traditional cooperation with Switzerland at all levels, and wished that Bern Canton would continue making greater contributions to bilateral relations.
Both sides pledged to strengthen the sharing of information to fully tap bilateral cooperation potential, especially in fields of Bern’s strength such as tourism, technology, environment, education-training and research.
The Vietnamese official asked local authorities and business community to continue supporting talks on FTA between Vietnam and the EFTA, thereby creating a new driving force for bilateral economic cooperation and trade and investment facilitation.