Bulgaria offers trade arrangement
SOFIA — Viet Nam is considering a proposal by the Bulgarian Government on a new bilateral co-operation model based on exports of Viet Nam's semi-processed goods to Bulgaria.
This development arose during talks between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan and his Bulgarian counterpart, Simon Yankov, in Sofia on Monday.
Yankov, who is also Minister of Finance, predicted that economic ties between Viet Nam and Bulgaria would continue to develop because many large Bulgarian businesses were interested in the market.
He said proposals on educational, cultural and artistic ties would be implemented, adding that he would visit Viet Nam next month to tie up loose ends.
Bulgaria now has seven FDI projects in Viet Nam with a total investment of US$30 million.
To increase trade, the two sides will focus on commodities with high added value, such as electronics, telecom and medical equipment, bio-technology and renewable energies.
Deputy PM Nhan also met Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nicolai Mladenov and visited the SOFARMA Pharmaceutical Co.'s factory and the Sofia General University's genetic research centre.
Visit to Switzerland
Earlier, during his official visit to Switzerland, Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan met with Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs Johann Schneider Ammann and Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs Alain Berset.
The Swiss government highly appreciated Nhan's visit as an important event in strenthening multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries in the fields of politics, economy, trade – investment, education-training, health and tourism.
Nhan affirmed Viet Nam considers Switzerland a key partner in Europe and highly values the two countries' progress in economic co-operation, with the turn-over of their two-way trade at nearly US$3 billion last year.
The two sides reached agreements on boosting negotiations on the free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
The Swiss side pledged to help Viet Nam write reports assessing the competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy and train experts in the fields of banking and finance.
They also stressed that Viet Nam is still one of the seven countries which Switzeland prioritizes for development co-operation.
In the field of education and training, the two sides agreed they would keep improving direct co-operation among the two countries' universities and Switzeland would consider allocating teachers to the Viet Nam – Germany University and Ha Noi University of Science and Technology.
In the field of health, the two sides exchanged their experiences with health systems, public health policies, pharmaceutical management, and the processes of drug price assessment and drug licenses.
The Swiss side committed to helping Viet Nam raise the quality of its public healthcare service.
Deputy PM Nhan encouraged Swiss pharmaceutical enterprises to make investments in the country.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen their co-operation between the two countries' foreign affairs ministries in international forums, especially the United Nations, ASEM and international organisations based in Geneva.
Upon receiving Nhan's invitation, head of Federal Department of Economic Affairs Johann Schneider Ammann will head a delegation of enterprises to visit the country at the beginning of next year. Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs Alain Berset will visit the country by the end of next year to boost co-operation in health, higher education and science and technology. — VNS