The visit of the head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs to Vietnam will serve as momentum to lift bilateral relations to a new height, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said on June 2.

During a reception for Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter in Hanoi , the Deputy Prime Minister voiced his delight at recent developments in the friendship and cooperation between the two countries across politics-diplomacy, trade-investment and education-training.

He expressed his hope that Switzerland would further collaborate with Vietnam to carry out official development assistance and foreign direct investment projects while calling for the European country’s support to push forwards the negotiation of the free trade deal between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

He also spoke highly of Switzerland ’s decision to open its Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City .

For his part, the Swiss foreign affairs head affirmed that his country always treasures its multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam . Switzerland will assist the Southeast Asian country in deepening its integration into the international market including the signing of free trade agreements, he added.

At the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of mutual concern including the East Sea. They shared the same view that all parties should respect international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea as well as ensure maritime and aviation freedom and safety in the region, which is an important trade route of the world.-VNA