National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung began his official visit to Switzerland on March 18 at the invitation of President of the Swiss National Council (Lower House) Ruedi Lustenberger.

After an official welcome ceremony for him at the headquarters of the Swiss Parliament in Berne, NA Chairman Hung held talks with his host.

Highlighting the intensive and comprehensive development of the two countries’ friendship and multifaceted cooperation over the past time, the Vietnamese leader affirmed that Switzerland is an important economic partner of Vietnam in Europe.

He said he hopes that Switzerland will continue encouraging its businesses to invest in Vietnam , especially in finance, banking, insurance, high technology, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Chairman Hung thanked the Swiss Parliament and Government for their support for and provision of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam .

He confirmed that Switzerland’s ODA capital has been used effectively in Vietnam, actively contributing to the country’s poverty reduction, rural development, environmental protection, socio-economic development, and international economic integration.

For his part, President Ruedi Lustenberger congratulated Vietnam on its socio-economic development achievements, especially in the context of difficulties in the world economy.

He agreed with the promotion of bilateral cooperation in all areas, meeting the aspirations of each side.

The Swiss National Council President spoke highly of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s adoption of a new constitution, describing it as an important milestone in the country’s legislative work with new developments in building the State apparatus and guaranteeing human rights.

He said that the Swiss Parliament, with its experience, is willing to assist Vietnam in implementing the constitution.

He also expressed his attention to Vietnam’s efforts to overcome the consequences of Agent Orange/dioxin, stating it needs the attention and support from international organisations and experienced nations in this field.

Both host and guest agreed that the two sides should maintain the exchange of all-level delegations, especially friendship parliamentarian groups, and promote people-to-people exchanges, thus contributing to developing the Vietnam-Switzerland comprehensive cooperation.

On the occasion, NA Chairman Hung invited President Ruedi Lustenberger to visit Vietnam and attend the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-132) to be held in the country in March 2015.

On March 19, the top Vietnamese legislator is scheduled to meet President of the Swiss State Council (Upper House) Hannes Germann.-VNA