Fostering Vietnam-Switzerland Relations in Various Sectors

10:49:11 AM | 9/20/2023

There is still significant room for cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland. Swiss entrepreneurs, diplomats and economic officials recognize Vietnam’s potential and attractive investment environment. Vietnam's policies to foster sustainable development especially appeal to Swiss investors.

Speakers at the seminar on Vietnam-Switzerland cooperation in trade, investment and technology in Zurich, Switzerland 

Upgrading economic relations

At the Vietnam-Switzerland seminar on trade, investment and technology cooperation recently held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Zurich, Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Phung The Long stated that amid an international situation with intertwined challenges and opportunities, senior leaders of both countries desire to soon upgrade bilateral cooperation to a new level, based on mutual trust and shared values of peace, cooperation and development.

In February 2023, the Swiss Federal Government adopted the Southeast Asia Strategy for the period 2023-2026, which designated Vietnam as the most dynamic economy in Southeast Asia and an increasingly significant partner of Switzerland. For Vietnam, the government always cherishes friendship and cooperation with Switzerland, regarding Switzerland as one of Vietnam’s key partners in Europe. Vietnam and Switzerland are actively negotiating to finalize and sign the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association - EFTA, of which Switzerland is a member.

Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Thomas Gass highlighted that the ties between Vietnam and Switzerland have grown strongly over the past 52 years, not only in the political and multilateral cooperation sphere, but also in the economic, technical assistance, trade, investment, scientific research, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchange domains. The visits of high-ranking leaders of both countries to Vietnam recently demonstrate Vietnam’s appeal and potential. Ambassador Thomas Gass said that the visit of President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas to Vietnam in June 2023 helped to enhance the good cooperation between the two countries and consolidate the relationship between their legislatures. During the visit, President Martin Candinas and the Swiss House of Representatives delegation met with Swiss businesses operating in Vietnam and learned about their potential, opportunities and challenges in the Vietnamese market compared to EU businesses. The Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam also mentioned that he visited and witnessed the success of Swiss businesses in Vietnam when he came to Hanoi. Many large Swiss enterprises such as Sika, ABB, and Nestlé have been or are about to mark their 30th anniversary of operations in Vietnam. Ambassador Gass also proposed that the two countries boost cooperation in R&D, higher education and human resource development in the private economic sector, and co-implement innovation projects in Vietnam.

Ms. Di Rosa, representative of the Swiss Business Association, stated that there were still many opportunities and untapped areas for the two sides to develop and innovate together. The free trade agreement between Vietnam and EFTA, of which Switzerland is a member, remained one of the crucial issues that required special attention and effort from both countries. Businesses of both countries expected the EFTA Agreement to be signed soon so that they could leverage opportunities for development cooperation and enhance the trade in goods and investment capital flows between the two sides.

Investment opportunities in Vietnam: Trends and important areas

Evaluating investment opportunities in Vietnam, Dr. Laurent Sigismondi, General Counsel, Head of the CEO Office, and a member of the Executive Committee of DKSH, said that Vietnam was one of the important investments in Southeast Asia. Vietnam had been offering attractive opportunities for businesses and DKSH was committed to being a part of this journey, utilizing its strengths to support investment and contribute to Vietnam’s economic development.

Agreeing with this view, Ms. Xinyue Hou (Bellecapital Investment Fund) said that with impressive growth and increasingly developed infrastructure, Vietnam was drawing the attention of international investors. Moreover, Vietnam had great potential for developing sustainable investment projects. Therefore, Vietnam’s policy to support sustainable development would appeal to foreign investors.

Mr. Dang Khanh Linh, head of the Department of Economic Synthesis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented a briefing on Vietnam’s policy on enhancing investment cooperation and economic linkages to attract resources for the country’s development. Vietnam always fosters support for industries, sectors and businesses in the spirit of serving people and businesses as the core.

In the foreign investment cooperation sphere, the Government of Vietnam gives priority to attracting investment projects, especially in the areas of advanced technology, innovation, research and development, along with initiatives that benefit Vietnamese companies that are integrated into the value chain, thereby promoting a digital, sustainable and circular economy for sustainable development.

Regarding sustainable ecosystem development in Vietnam, the startup ecosystem in Vietnam is contributing to economic and scientific development, marking the emergence and growth of young entrepreneurs and intellectuals. Creativity and innovation in management and business models not only contribute to Vietnam’s development in particular but also to the global sustainable development goal in general. The representative of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam stressed the commitment of the Vietnamese Government in creating favorable conditions and environment for businesses to foster innovation and creativity.

By Thu Ha, Vietnam Business Forum