Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc receives Director of Switzerland’s Federation Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication Doris Leuthard in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has affirmed that Việt Nam is keen to foster friendship with Switzerland and hopes the two countries will continue bolstering co-operation in all fields, especially trade and investment.
The PM made the statement while meeting the visiting Director of Switzerland’s Federation Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication Doris Leuthard in Hà Nội yesterday after their previous meeting in January 2017 when the PM attended the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He welcomed the two countries’ signing of agreements to support each other at multilateral forums.
Leuthard said she was impressed by Việt Nam’s growth as well as delight at the progress of the ties between the two countries over the past few years.
She expressed her hope that negotiations for a free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) would be finalised this year after seven years, so that the deal can be signed soon, opening up new co-operation prospects in tourism, trade and investment.
She said that many Swiss firms were accompanying her on this visit to seek investment and business opportunities, especially in pharmaceuticals, one of Switzerland’s strong sectors.
She also had working sessions with the Vietnamese side on the environment, climate change, and biodiversity to explore co-operation potential.
Sharing the Swiss official’s hope to speed up the conclusion of negotiations for the Việt Nam-EFTA free trade agreement, PM Phúc said that relevant parties should soon sign the deal. Along with a direct air route between Việt Nam and Switzerland this year, the deal will bring about opportunities to promote investment, trade and tourism partnership between the two sides, he stressed.
He also underscored that Việt Nam welcomed Swiss firms to expand co-operation in Việt Nam, pledging that the Vietnamese Government would continue improving the investment environment and creating optimal conditions for foreign firms, including those from Switzerland, especially in finance-banking, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
The Government leader proposed that Switzerland should share experience with Việt Nam and support the country in building a high-quality education system and combining science-technology research-training.
He also suggested that Switzerland increase scholarships for Vietnamese students, especially in law, banking, high technology and tourism, while strengthening the exchange of students and lecturers as well as co-operation in scientific research. — VNS