HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính suggested Việt Nam and Switzerland enhance all-level exchanges and meetings, creating momentum for the expansion of cooperation across spheres while receiving newly-appointed Swiss Ambassador Thomas Gass in Hà Nội on Thursday.
Việt Nam always attaches importance to its friendship and cooperation with Switzerland, the PM said, noting his belief that the ambassador will continue actively contributing to the bilateral ties during his tenure.
He emphasised that the Việt Nam-Switzerland relationship is developing intensively and extensively in all fields, particularly politics-diplomacy, trade-investment and development cooperation.
Switzerland is Việt Nam’s important economic partner in Europe, with two-way trade and Swiss investment in the Southeast Asian nation growing significantly, the leader said, suggesting Switzerland create optimal conditions for its enterprises to run long-term, high-quality business in Việt Nam, focusing on the areas of Switzerland’s strengths and Việt Nam’s priorities like digital transformation, green transition, circular economy, climate change response, high-tech agriculture, banking-finance, and health care.
The two sides should work to push ahead with negotiations on a free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in order to boost their investment and trade ties in the time ahead, PM Chính said.
The PM also suggested the two countries expand collaboration in science-technology, education-training, and people-to-people exchanges, thus helping Việt Nam raise its workforce quality, and contributing to enhancing mutual understanding.
PM Chính used this occasion to thank the Swiss government and people for their donation of medical supplies to Việt Nam during the COVID-19 pandemic, and called on the Swiss government to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals to live and work in the country.
Gass, for his part, affirmed that Switzerland always attaches importance to its friendship and cooperation with Việt Nam, and expressed his impression on socio-economic achievements the Southeast Asian nation has recorded during the realisation of sustainable development goals, as well as the country’s role and position in the region and the world at large, and its strong commitments to climate change response and net zero emissions by 2050.
The ambassador promised to make efforts to contribute to strengthening the bilateral ties more practically and effectively, stressing Switzerland stands ready to accompany and cooperate with Việt Nam in the fields of manufacturing, high tech, sustainable agriculture, and climate change response.
Việt Nam is an increasingly important partner of Switzerland, and ample room remains for the two sides to boost their cooperation, the diplomat said, stressing that Switzerland wishes to accelerate negotiations on the free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the EFTA.
He also suggested the two countries foster collaboration in science-technology, education-training, tourism and exchange between their citizens.
For multilateral cooperation, PM Chính said the two countries should continue cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially the United Nations.
He also called for Switzerland’s support for the stance and efforts of ASEAN and Việt Nam in maintaining peace and stability, ensuring freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the South China Sea, and settling disputes by peaceful measures, on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).