Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình (left) on Monday had talks with Guy Parmelin, Vice President of Switzerland and head of the country's Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research as part of his visit to the central European country. — VNA/VNS Photo
GENEVA — Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hoà Bình had talks with Vice President and head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Guy Parmelin in Geneva on Monday.
Both sides agreed to hold celebrations for the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.
Congratulating Việt Nam on its socio-economic achievements last year, Parmelin expressed his belief the country would be a success in the role of a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure and the ASEAN Chair 2020.
Deputy PM Bình expressed his wish that both sides offer mutual support at multilateral forums, the UN and within ASEAN-Switzerland co-operation.
As of late September last year, two-way trade hit US$1.96 billion. Switzerland invested in 157 projects worth $1.95 billion, ranking 19th out of the 132 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam.
Host and guest affirmed the two governments will continue providing support for Swiss and Vietnamese firms, especially in fields of Switzerland’s strength and Việt Nam’s demand such as finance-banking, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, farm produce and tourism.
The two sides will continue stepping up negotiations on the free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), to which Switzerland is a member, meeting the demand of the two economies.
Bình thanked Switzerland for development co-operation programmes for Việt Nam in personnel training, rural and urban development, and poverty reduction, contributing to realising sustainable development goals in Việt Nam.
He asked the European country to continue assisting Việt Nam in stabilising its macro-economy, reforming finance-banking, improving the capacity of global integration, coping with climate change, as well as reinforcing work across sustainable tourism, exports, labour market and social insurance with Vietnamese localities.
In education, the two shared experience in improving high-quality tertiary and vocational education in combination with science-technology development and discussed offering more scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in Switzerland.
They also highly valued the co-operation statement between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation.
Bình proposed the Swiss government continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to stabilise their lives and bolster bilateral ties.
He applauded Switzerland’s contributions to maintaining peace, security and development in the world.
The two leaders highlighted the significance of settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea).
During a meeting with Governor of Bern City, Canton Christoph Ammann, Bình said Việt Nam treasures the development of friendship with Switzerland and wished that the canton would continue making contributions to bilateral ties.
Host and guest vowed to enhance the sharing of information to tap bilateral co-operation, especially in fields of Bern’s strength such as tourism, technology, environment, education-training and research.
The Vietnamese official asked local authorities and the business community to continue supporting talks on a trade deal between Việt Nam and the EFTA, thus creating a new driving force for bilateral economic co-operation and facilitating trade and investment. — VNS