President Trần Đại Quang receives President of the Council of States of Switzerland Ivo Bischofberger in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam always attaches great importance to reinforcing and promoting its sound relationship with Switzerland, President Trần Đại Quang said yesterday.
In talks held with visiting President of the Swiss Council of States, Ivo Bischofberger, he expressed his happiness at the strong growth of Việt Nam-Switzerland ties, especially in politics, diplomacy, trade, investment and development cooperation.
He also hailed “many meaningful activities” held to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2016, including the Việt Nam Day in Switzerland.
Quang proposed that both sides maintain the exchange of delegations at all levels to further strengthen bilateral co-operation.
He said the visit of the President of the Swiss Council of States has helped strengthen co-operation between the legislative bodies of both countries, contributing to growth in bilateral ties as well.
The nation highly values the 2012 recognition of Việt Nam as a market economy by Switzerland and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), he said.
He hoped that Switzerland will support negotiations for a balanced free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the EFTA that takes into account mutual benefit and the development gap between the two sides.
President Quang said he believes that the deal will open up new co-operation opportunities for business communities in both countries.
He called for more Swiss investment in finance, banking, insurance, hi-tech sector, manufacturing technology, pharmaceuticals, farm produce processing, and tourism.
Switzerland is currently an important trade and investment partner and the third largest European investor in Việt Nam, the President noted.
Việt Nam hopes to learn from Switzerland’s experience in developing a high quality education system closely associated with scientific research, he said.
He suggested that Switzerland provides more scholarships to Vietnamese students to study law, banking, advanced technology and tourism, and that it creates favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to stabilise their lives in Switzerland.
He also asked for Switzerland’s backing of Việt Nam’s candidacy for a seat in the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.
President Quang also conveyed an invitation to his Swiss counterpart to visit Việt Nam.
Ivo Bischofberger said he believed in a bright future of friendship and partnership between the two countries, especially in economy, trade, investment, education and training.
Swiss firms are interested in expanding business in Việt Nam, and stood ready to support the training of local workers, he said.
The vocational training model of Switzerland will help Vietnamese youth qualify for good jobs, he added.
Switzerland is also paying much attention to the signing of a free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the EFTA, he said.
He affirmed that the Swiss Government’s keenness in providing development assistance has been reflected in various support programmes and projects in Việt Nam.
The Swiss Council of States is also engaged in building and carrying out co-operation projects with Việt Nam during the 2017-2020 period, he said.
Bischofberger said Switzerland supports Việt Nam’s candidature for a seat at the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure. He requested Việt Nam’s backing of Switzerland’s candidacy for a seat at the council for the 2023-2024 period.— VNS