President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his Swiss counterpart President Guy Parmelin at the joint press conference. VNA Photo
BERN – Việt Nam and Switzerland have agreed to soon conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member.
Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin made the announcement at a joint press conference following their talks in Bern on November 26.
Describing President Phúc’s official visit as a new development milestone in Switzerland-Việt Nam relations, President Parmelin said the two sides still had many opportunities and much potential for growth.
The Vietnamese leader noted that he and his Swiss counterpart shared the view that despite development, bilateral cooperation has yet to match the potential of both nations, and they agreed to soon conclude the talks on the FTA between Việt Nam and the EFTA.
He added Việt Nam would welcome the two countries and their businesses promoting innovation cooperation.
The Presidents agreed to elevate the two nations’ 2019 letter of intent on innovation, science and technology to a protocol on innovation, encouraging Swiss companies to cooperate with the Southeast Asian country in innovation and digital economy.
The Swiss President said he wanted to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) similar to the deal that Việt Nam signed with the European Union, thereby eliminating barriers to goods circulation between the two countries. Another priority would be to build a favourable legal framework and effectively enforce intellectual property rights, he said, adding that these were factors that would strongly attract Swiss investors to invest in Việt Nam.
President Parmelin said that he and President Phúc had agreed to assign the heads of the two negotiating teams to accelerate the talks on the EFTA-Vietnam FTA. - VNA/VNS