Attending a press conference in the Swiss Press Club in Geneva on December 18, APES President Jean Musy said the delegation comprised seven journalists from Swiss, French, German, Belgian, Haitian and Portuguese news agencies. During the stay from November 27 – December 3, they held 25 working sessions and met more than 50 representatives from departments and agencies in the fields of politics, socio-economy, culture, press and tourism in Hanoi and the northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen and Quang Ninh.
The delegation also met Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Swiss and Haitian representatives in Vietnam, leaders of Thai Nguyen and Quang Ninh provinces, the Vietnam Journalists’ Association, Vietnam News Agency, Radio the Voice of Vietnam and People’s Army paper. They also visited Vingroup, Vinamilk, Credit Suisse bank and garment companies.
They also met with representatives from the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin, AO victims, family of the late General Vo Nguyen Giap, and veteran photographer Le Vuong.
The group also enjoyed a surprise meeting with two US war veterans who were jailed in Hoa Lo prison during the war at a photo exhibition on the 45th anniversary of the “Dien Bien Phu in the air” victory.
Haitian journalist Jean Edouardd Rigaud lauded Vietnam’s business climate, saying that with more than 24,000 foreign-invested projects, total foreign direct investment in Vietnam has surpassed US$310 billion.
Rui Martins, a journalist working for Brazilian and Portuguese news agencies, said he was impressed by the transport and economic changes in Vietnam since his first visit in 1994. With the presence of investors from 120 countries, Vietnam’s economy has grown 6%-7% annually on average over the past two decades.
He expressed his hope to visit Vietnam in the future to see more positive changes.
German photojournalist Pierre Virot introduced an album with hundreds of photos he took during the trip, depicting Ha Long Bay, meetings with Vietnamese, Swiss and Haitian politicians in Hanoi and cultural establishments in Vietnam.
The APES was founded in 1928 in Geneva with more than 120 members representing news and press agencies worldwide, most of them work in Geneva where the United Nations and international organisations are headquartered.