Vietnam, Switzerland Share Legislative Experience
President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas arrived in Hanoi on June 27 afternoon, beginning his four-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.
|Participants at the talks. Photo: VNA|
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas after chairing a welcome ceremony for the Swiss leader in Hanoi June 28, VNA reported.
At the talks, Hue affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to its traditional friendship and cooperation with Switzerland and expressed his gratitude for the European nation's provision of over USD 600 million in official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam from 1991 to 2021 as well as for supporting the Southeast Asian country in the fight against Covid-19.
He proposed the two sides continue to enhance cooperation and exchange delegations through all channels and further coordinate closely at multilateral forums, thus contributing to peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.
Regarding the two-way trade turnover of approximately USD 810 million last year and Swiss investment in Vietnam worth nearly USD 2 billion, the two leaders said the figures are not commensurate with their potential. They agreed to accelerate the negotiation process and signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which consists of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
Candinas stated that Switzerland has paid due attention to promoting investment, trade, technology, and knowledge, hence it hoped that the FTA could be inked next year.
Hue said that there are still many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of science, technology, education, and climate change adaptation.
He proposed Switzerland increase the number of scholarships for Vietnam, promote cooperation between Vietnamese and Swiss educational institutions, and implement joint training programmes in pharmaceuticals, precision mechanical engineering, tourism, finance, banking, and insurance.
Hue suggested the parliament and government of Switzerland continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to settle down and well integrate into the host society, thus contributing to promoting the friendship between the two nations.
Regarding parliamentary cooperation, Hue hoped the two sides will continue to maintain the exchange of delegations at high and all levels, including among parliament committees and parliamentarians.
The two sides should continue to cooperate and share experience with each other in law-building activities to create institutions to meet requirements of issues of global concern such as just energy transition, digital transformation, and climate change response, he said.
|National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas. Photo: VNA|
The Vietnamese top legislator held that the two sides can increase consultations and coordination as well as mutual support at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) while promoting cooperation among the two Friendship Parliamentarians Groups.
The legislatures of the two countries should work together in supervising and speeding up the implementation of agreements between the two governments, he said, adding that Vietnamese and Swiss localities should foster their connectivity, including collaboration among elected agencies at the local level.
Hue pledged that the NA and the Government of Vietnam will create optimal conditions for foreign investors, including those from Switzerland, to do long-term business and production activities in Vietnam.
Candinas said Switzerland welcomes Vietnam's commitment at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), saying that both countries have a common goal of sustainable development, therefore, the European nation is ready to cooperate for the two sides to achieve this goal.
In its foreign policy, Switzerland always considers Vietnam as a strategic economic cooperation partner in the region, he said, adding that this is also the reason why the high-ranking Swiss delegation decided to visit Vietnam.
Asserting that Vietnam has a dynamic and successful economy that has performed well in hunger eradication and poverty reduction in recent years, the President of the National Council of Switzerland said that through talks, the Swiss business representatives wish to continue to pour investment, thereby promoting cooperation and economic development between the two countries.
He went on to say that Switzerland wants to increase investment, trade cooperation and effective economic cooperation, helping to realise Vietnam's goal of becoming a developed and high-income country by 2045. There are currently about 100 Swiss enterprises in the Southeast Asian country that create jobs for about 120,000 local workers.
|In gratitude for the warm hospitality and friendship, Chairperson Nationalrat Martin Candinas gifted Chairperson Hue a triptych picture of the opening of the 1954 Geneva Conference – a milestone in the decolonization of Vietnam at which, the DRVN Delegation was led by Foreign Minister Pham Van Dong. Source: Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam|
Expressing his confidence in the fruitful development of bilateral relations and with many projects and programs of Switzerland in Vietnam over the past 30 years, Candinas emphasized that Switzerland will continue to strengthen the cooperation between the two nations in the future.
According to the Swiss leader, the European country has focused on improving the competitiveness of businesses and labor productivity. During the official visit to Vietnam, the Swiss delegation will visit a garment company to learn about the productivity and working conditions of local workers.
With the signing of an agreement on improving working conditions by the two countries, Candinas expressed his belief that Swiss programs and cooperation will contribute to improving labor productivity and improving working conditions for workers.
The two leaders also exchanged views on a number of international and regional issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue.
At the talk, Candinas invited Hue to pay an official visit to Switzerland soon and his invitation was accepted with pleasure.
The Vietnamese community in Switzerland now groups 8,000 people, more than half of them obtained Swiss citizenship but still retain their Vietnamese nationality. The Vietnamese Association in Switzerland and the Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association opened Binh Minh School in Zurich to teach the Vietnamese language to the Vietnamese community.
The friendship and cooperation ties between the two legislatures have been growing, with regular high-level visits and meetings to share experiences.
The Friendship Parliamentarians’ Groups of the two countries were established and carried out various activities to bolster parliamentary relations and bilateral cooperation.
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