|Luong Manh Hung.
While big economies in Europe such as Germany, France and Italy suffered from the European debt crisis, Switzerland saw a growth of import-export turnover last year estimated at US$422 billion.
The country ran a trade surplus of $28.71 billion, a rise of 14.32 per cent over 2011, which was mainly thank to the bilateral trade with emerging nations, the US and Asian countries.
This created a good foundation to further the two-way trade between Viet Nam and Switzerland, Luong Manh Hung, Trade Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland, said.
What are outstanding points of the Viet Nam – Switzerland trade in the first months of this year?
In the first two months, the import-export turnover of Switzerland totalled $70.91 billion, an increase by 0.9 per cent over the same period last year with a trade surplus of $5.368 billion.
The two-way trade between Viet Nam and Switzerland in the first two months was on an increasing trend, especially machines and electric equipment, showing a structural shift in the nature of Viet Nam's exports.
About 95 per cent of $3.5 billion-export turnover of Viet Nam to Switzerland was gold in 2010.
The rate of gold in the export turnover decreased to 10 per cent in 2011 and 8 per cent in 2012 but rates of garments and textiles, agricultural products and machines increased.
The total export-import turnover between the two countries (excluding gold) in 2012 reached $924.345 million, up 25.21 per cent.
The two-way trade rose 11 per cent, reaching $167 million over the first two months of this year.
Could you say something about the forthcoming visit of Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann to Viet Nam?
Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann will lead the delegation of enterprises in finance, tourism and manufacturing sectors to visit Viet Nam in the second half of October.
The delegation will include dozens of enterprises, mostly big groups which have investments or intend to invest in Viet Nam, to work with relevant ministries and organisations of Viet Nam to seek further co-operation.
The two sides expect to raise trade relations to a higher level.
The visit will help boost negotiation for the free trade agreement with countries of the European Free Trade Association, including Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
The negotiation is expected to roll out soon and the signature on the FTA is expected by 2014.
How do the Trade Office and Vietnamese enterprises in Switzerland help boost trade between the two countries?
The Trade Office plays a role in providing support to Vietnamese enterprises to penetrate the Swiss market based on local import demand.
It also organises trips for Swiss enterprises to come to Viet Nam to seek business opportunities and partners.
The Vietnamese Embassy to Switzerland is joining with the Asian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce to bring 15-20 small and medium-sized Swiss enterprises to Viet Nam to explore the market in the first half of June.
Enterprises of Vietnamese living in Switzerland help promote made-in-Viet Nam products in the local market, especially agricultural, fishery and food products.
Vietnamese enterprises should study the quality standards of the Swiss market to enhance the competitiveness of their products because the country demands products of high quality in comparison with other European countries. — VNS