Vietnamese President Busy on Switzerland Visit
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc wrapped up the first two-days of his official visit to Switzerland, included several meetings with Swiss President, President of the National Council and several officials.
|Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin. Photo: VNA|
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin following the official welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese leader in Bern city on Nov. 26.
They discussed areas of cooperation and reached consensus on many measures to advance Vietnam - Switzerland relations.
They agreed to increase exchanges and meetings to intensify mutual understanding and trust and promote bilateral cooperation.
President Phuc noted that the Southeast Asian nation was working hard to improve the business - investment climate and create favourable conditions for foreign firms to operate in the long term.
The leaders agreed to make efforts to soon conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). They also expressed their delight at the progress in scientific - technological cooperation and agreed to further strengthen links in science - technology and education - training.
The Vietnamese leader thanked the Swiss Government for its donation of medical equipment valued at about USD 5 million for Vietnam's Covid-19 prevention and control on the occasion of Swiss Vice President Ignazio Casis’s visit to Vietnam in August.
He proposed the two sides promote cooperation between their enterprises and research facilities in the development, production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and treatment drugs.
Phuc thanked and proposed the Swiss Government continue creating favourable conditions for the overseas Vietnamese community to well integrate into the host country.
The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations such as the United Nations and the Asia - Europe cooperation mechanism.
Vietnam agreed to help Switzerland strengthen its relationship with ASEAN).
Regarding the Bien Dong Sea issue, Switzerland stressed the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation, compliance with international law, and settlement of disputes via peaceful measures based on transparent dialogue and trust building.
|Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) on Nov. 26 met President of the Swiss National Council Andreas Aebi as part of his official visit to Switzerland. Photo: VNA|
The Vietnamese President on the same day met President of the Swiss National Council Andreas Aebi during which Aebi affirmed that Vietnam was an important partner of Switzerland in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific at large, expressing his hope that President Phuc’s visit would create momentum to boost the bilateral ties.
The two leaders noted the positive development of the Vietnam-Switzerland relationship, both bilaterally and multilaterally, and via the State and parliamentary channels.
They consented to take specific and strong measures to further step up cooperative ties, especially in economy, trade, investment, and innovation, to be on par with the potential and strength of the two countries, and tackle the pandemic's impacts.
Informing Aebi about his earlier talks with President Guy Parmelin, the Vietnamese leader called on the Swiss National Council to back joint efforts in enhancing and expanding collaboration in politics, economy, development cooperation, science-technology, and education-training, particularly the early signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EFTA that comprises Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland, and the establishment of a priority partnership in innovation between Vietnam and Switzerland.
Phuc thanked the Swiss National Council for its support for the bilateral ties, particularly for Vietnam’s development assistance.
Aebi expressed his wish for stronger cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries and his support for strengthened economic ties, notably the early signing of the FTA between Vietnam and the EFTA.
Switzerland stands ready to partner with Vietnam in innovation, he said and lauded contributions of the Vietnamese community in Switzerland to socio-economic development as well as cultural diversity of the host country.
Phuc proposed the Swiss National Council continue support and create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Switzerland to work as a bridge to promote bilateral relations.
At the meeting, Phuc also conveyed National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s greetings and invitation to Aebi to visit Vietnam.
The President Phuc also meetings with former Swiss President Schneider Ammann, and Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Switzerland Philipp Roesler, who is former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister of Economy and Science and Technology of Germany.
Ammann, who is also former Minister of Economic Affairs of Switzerland, and Roesler said that there remained great potential for Vietnam to expand cooperation with Switzerland and Germany.
Phuc expressed his hope that Ammann would support the enhancement of bilateral ties, especially in priority economic and trade areas.
Phuc congratulated Roesler on his appointment as Vietnam’s first Honorary Consul in Switzerland, and lauded his efforts in promoting German and Swiss investments in Vietnam.
Roesler pledged to try his best to enhance relations between Vietnam and European partners and Switzerland.
The Vietnamese President suggested Ammann and Roesler actively support the early conclusion of the talks and signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to create momentum for the Vietnam-Switzerland economic cooperation, especially in the context that the two countries are prioritising the enhancement of economic-trade ties post Covid-19.
Both Ammann and Roesler pledged to contribute to speeding up the negotiations and strengthening bilateral economic links.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin also co-chaired a Vietnam - Switzerland Business Forum in Bern on Nov. 26.
|President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second, right) receives Mayor of Bern Alec Von Graffenried. Photo: VNA|
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed authorities of Bern and Hanoi cities to strengthen their cooperation, especially in urban management while receiving Mayor of Bern Alec Von Graffenried.
The Vietnamese leader suggested Bern city’s authorities to cooperate with 12 Vietnamese localities, which boast UNESCO-recognised world cultural heritages, in preserving and upholding cultural values, as well as promoting these heritages in Switzerland so that attracting more tourists from Switzerland and other European countries to Vietnam.
The President emphasized that creating conditions for the two countries’ people to understand more about each other is a sustainable foundation for the relations between the two countries.
For his part, Graffenried stated that Bern is a small city but has a big heart for Vietnam. The city’s authorities will continue to work with their Hanoi counterparts to strengthen their long-standing cooperation, he added.
|President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits Bern City. Photo: VGP|
Also on Nov. 27, President Phuc received leaders of DKSH Holding AG, a Switzerland-based company that provides market expansion services, during which he suggested the group continue its investments in Vietnam and boost exports.
Within the framework of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Switzerland, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch had working session on Nov. 26.
|The working session between Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch. Photo: VNA|
The two sides consented to work harder to speed up the negotiations, considering this a priority task to create a firm legal foundation for Vietnamese and Swiss enterprises to run long-term business.
They highlighted support to small-and medium-enterprises in export, the development of fundamental industries and technology transfer to Vietnam.
Dien also had a meeting with the Minister of State of Switzerland to promote the early conclusion of the negotiations and signing of the EFTA-Vietnam FTA.
Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc also had a working session with Niklaus Meier, Co-head of the Private International Law Unit at the Swiss Federal Office of Justice.
Ngoc said that apart from international justice, the two ministries should expand cooperation to other areas within their functions and tasks such as civil status, nationality, international adoption, especially Switzerland's acceptance of Vietnam's accession to the Hague Convention on Taking of Evidence.
Ngoc suggested the Swiss side continue to support Vietnam in studying the experience of joining and implementing the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; implementing the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958, and experience in formulating and implementing international judicial laws, and in participating in the UN Commission on International Trade.
He called on Switzerland to coordinate with Vietnam in implementing judicial mandates via both service convention channel and diplomatic channels, and share its experience in legal and judicial reforms because Switzerland has a developed legal and judicial system that effectively serves socio-economic development.
Regarding the proposal on accepting Vietnam's accession to the Hague Convention on Taking of Evidence, Meier promised to report to Switzerland’s authorities for early positive feedback.
For conventions under the HccH system, he stressed that Switzerland was willing to support Vietnam in its study of accession and implementation of the conventions, coordinate with the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice in handling civil status, nationality, and provide legal assistance in civil matters.
The FDJP pledged to mobilise the best experts in each field to support Vietnam in specific issues at the request of the Vietnamese ministry, Meier said, adding that it was willing to share information and experience with the Vietnamese side in legal and judicial reforms.
Regarding the MoU signed between the two sides in 2018, Meier said the FDJP has rarely signed a MoU with a ministry of justice of a foreign country, so Vietnam can be seen as special priority.
This MoU will expire in 2022, he said, adding that if the two sides failed to sign a new MoU due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the cooperation between the two ministries would continue without interruption.
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