Vietnam pledges to create all favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from Switzerland , to do business in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai made the statement at a seminar to promote Swiss investment in Vietnam held in Zurich city, Switzerland on September 12.

As one of activities during Hai’s visit to Switzerland from Sept. 10-15 on the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties, the seminar attracted hundreds of Vietnamese and Swiss businesses and investors operating in finance and banking, mechanical engineering, food processing and tourism.

Deputy PM Hai stressed that Switzerland is Vietnam ’s important economic partner in Europe and in the world with 80 investment projects totalling nearly 2 billion USD in the Southeast Asian nation.

Many large Swiss groups, including Nestle, Holcim and Norvatis, have seen effective operations in Vietnam .

At present, Switzerland is Vietnam ’s second largest trading partner in Europe with two-way trade exceeding 3.7 billion USD in 2010.

In addition to investment and trade cooperation, the bilateral ties have developed in the fields of finance and banking, urban management, infrastructure development and natural resource management.

The educational and training cooperation between the two countries has seen encouraging developments with an increasing number of Vietnamese students and post-graduates studying in Switzerland , he said, adding that Vietnam has become a familiar destination for Swiss tourists.

However, Hai noted that the investment and trade relations are yet to match great potential for cooperation between the two countries.

The Deputy PM said though Vietnam has faced great challenges since the beginning of the year such as high inflation and interest rates, unstable foreign exchange rate, high trade deficit, and stagnant production, the government has taken strong measures to curb inflation, stabilise the foreign exchange rate and increase foreign currency reserves, thus achieving a GDP growth rate of 5.57 percent in the first six months of 2011.

Hai stressed that in the coming time, the Vietnamese government will focus on restructuring the economy and transforming the growth model along with completing investment mechanisms and policies to mobilise social investment for infrastructure development.

Speaking at the seminar, President of the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce Urs Lustenberger expressed his belief in Vietnam ’s policy of door-opening and investment encouragement. He said that the seminar offered a chance for Vietnamese and Swiss businesses to seek cooperation opportunities in the future.

On the same day, Deputy PM Hai met with Christian Sigg, Vice President for International Business Development of the Zurich Airport Company./.