Vietnam wants to open a new stage of cooperation with Switzerland

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will pay official visits to Switzerland and Russia from November 25 to December 2 at the invitation of these countries’ Presidents. The visits are designed to foster bilateral relations and lay a foundation for a new cooperative phase between Vietnam and Switzerland and Russia.
Vietnam wants to open a new stage of cooperation with Switzerland - ảnh 1Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo:

The visit to Switzerland comes at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and 30 years of development cooperation.

50 years of developing relations

Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam on October 11, 1971, while Vietnam was fighting a war for national unification in the south and establishing socialism in the north.

Before that time bilateral relations had already seen major events, including the signing of the Geneva Accord in Switzerland on July 20, 1954 to confirm Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity.

Over the last 50 years, bilateral relations have grown. Initial cooperation between the two countries mainly involved humanitarian aid and development assistance. Over the last three decades, the Swiss Government has provided more than 600 million USD for Vietnam's socio-economic development. In March, Switzerland announced the Switzerland-Vietnam Development Cooperation Program 2021-2024 with an ODA fund of 75 million USD. Vietnam is one of the few countries on Switzerland’s list of prioritized foreign partners.

Vietnam and Switzerland have organized 30 high-level exchanges. Most recent was Swiss Vice President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis’s visit to Vietnam in August. Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will pay an official visit to Switzerland on Thursday.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Switzerland has donated 13 tons of medical equipment to Vietnam. Swiss businesses donated to Vietnams’s COVID-19 Vaccine Fund in response to a call by the Vietnamese Embassy in Bern.

Bilateral export-import revenue in recent years has totaled nearly 1 billion USD. More than 100 Swiss businesses, including world brands Nestle, ABB, Novartis, Roche, Zuellig Pharma, Holcim, and Schindler are doing successful business in Vietnam, with a total investment of 2 billion USD. Switzerland is now the 6th biggest EU investor in Vietnam.

Vietnam wants to open a new stage of cooperation with Switzerland - ảnh 2Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang spoke on Vietnam Day in Switzerland last month:  “The long-standing friendly relationship is a firm foundation for the governments and peoples to obtain achievements in many fields. Switzerland has maintained development cooperation with Vietnam for three decades. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects have contributed to socio-economic development and the implementation of Millenium Development Goals toward sustainable development.”

Bilateral relations expanded

The biggest achievements in Vietnam-Switzerland relations are mutual trust and understanding in many fields and sharing of global values, particularly people-to-people relationships.

With the complementary nature of the two economies and strong political motivation, Vietnam-Switzerland cooperative relations will continue to expand to realize the great potential in economics, trade, investment, and healthcare.

The signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association, of which Switzerland is one of the founders, will give momentum to bilateral economic and trade relations.

Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Ivo Sieber said: "I believe that the solid foundation of Swiss-Vietnamese relations will really make it well. We have such a broad and robust cooperation in many fields, politics, economics, culture, and research. We have high-level visits this years, one of our Vice President, and many visits in the past. I think it has well established cooperation in the future. Both countries are negotiating a FTA and the process can be brought to a conclusion soon, which will open up more opportunities for each side and for both countries' businesses." 

The achievements that Vietnam and Switzerland have gained in the past five decades show great potential for future cooperation. President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit to Switzerland will further consolidate the friendship and affirm a commitment to future cooperation.

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