Vietnam-Switzerland Business and Investment Promotion Forum (Source: VNA)
Geneva (VNA) – Potential areas for cooperation between Vietnamese and Swiss businesses were discussed at a forum in Geneva on December 7.

The Vietnam-Switzerland Business and Investment Promotion Forum was co-organised by Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva.

It aims to create a network of cooperation between Vietnamese businesses and their Swiss counterparts, as well as other organisations.

Trade between Vietnam and Switzerland has reached 633 million USD in recent years. In the first ten months of this year, Vietnam exported 184 million USD worth of goods to Switzerland while importing 340 million USD from the European country.

In 2014, Switzerland ranked 18th among 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 102 projects valued at more than 2 billion USD.

A number of Swiss firms such as Holcim, Nestle, Generalli Insurance, ABB and Syngenta have gained a reputation in the Southeast Asian nation.

Many well-known Swiss universities specialising in the fields of tourism and finance have also lured a crowd of Vietnamese students.

Participants at the event shared their experiences in running businesses in the context of global economic integration and competitiveness.

Paul Wessendorp , chief of the Investment Promotion Section under the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) , lauded the remarkable progress Vietnam has made in shifting towards a market economy.

The country’s encouragement for private companies, openness to foreign investors and a host of reforms have helped boost its industrial development, diversify the economy and ingrate more deeply into the world economy, he said.

Highlighting Vietnam’s engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Paul Wessendorp said Vietnam is one of the leading nations in Asia in terms of publicising its investment procedures in detail and transparently.

Other UNCTAD experts gave their opinions on the Vietnamese market, focusing on issues regarding foreign direct investment, small and medium-sized enterprises and e-commerce in the country.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc highlighted his country’s efforts to improve the investment environment and provide legal support for businesses operating in the market.

The event also heard reports on trade and investment opportunities in the two countries.

Established in 1984, the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the UN is tasked with promoting trade links between Vietnam and Switzerland.-VNA