Top legislator holds talks with President of Swiss National Council

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas after chairing a welcome ceremony for the Swiss leader in Hanoi June 28.
Top legislator holds talks with President of Swiss National Council ảnh 1National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas after chairing a welcome ceremony for the Swiss leader in Hanoi June 28.

At the talks, Hue affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to its traditional friendship and cooperation with Switzerland and expressed his gratitude for the European nation's provision of over 600 million USD in official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam from 1991 to 2021 as well as for supporting the Southeast Asian country in the fight against COVID-19.

Top legislator holds talks with President of Swiss National Council ảnh 2Participants at the talks (Photo: VNA)

He proposed the two sides continue to enhance cooperation and exchange delegations through all channels and further coordinate closely at multilateral forums, thus contributing to peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.

Regarding the two-way trade turnover of approximately 810 million USD last year and Swiss investment in Vietnam worth nearly 2 billion USD, the two leaders said the figures are not commensurate with their potential. They agreed to accelerate the negotiation process and signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which consists of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

Candinas stated that Switzerland has paid due attention to promoting investment, trade, technology, and knowledge, hence it hoped that the FTA could be inked next year.

Top legislator holds talks with President of Swiss National Council ảnh 3National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, President of the National Council of Switzerland Martin Candinas, and delegates of the two countries (Photo: VNA)

Hue said that there are still many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of science, technology, education, and climate change adaptation.

He proposed Switzerland increase the number of scholarships for Vietnam, promote cooperation between Vietnamese and Swiss educational institutions, and implement joint training programmes in pharmaceuticals, precision mechanical engineering, tourism, finance, banking, and insurance.

Hue suggested the parliament and government of Switzerland continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to settle down and well integrate into the host society, thus contributing to promoting the friendship between the two nations.

Regarding parliamentary cooperation, Hue hoped the two sides will continue to maintain the exchange of delegations at high and all levels, including among parliament committees and parliamentarians.

The two sides should continue to cooperate and share experience with each other in law-building activities to create institutions to meet requirements of issues of global concern such as just energy transition, digital transformation, and climate change response, he said.

The Vietnamese top legislator held that the two sides can increase consultations and coordination as well as mutual support at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF), while promoting the cooperation among the two Friendship Parliamentarians Groups.

The legislatures of the two countries should work together in supervising and speeding up the implementation of agreements between the two governments, he said, adding that Vietnamese and Swiss localities should foster their connectivity, including collaboration among elected agencies at the local level.

Hue pledged that the NA and Government of Vietnam will create optimal conditions for foreign investors, including those from Switzerland, to do long-term business and production activities in Vietnam.

Candinas said Switzerland welcomes Vietnam's commitment at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), saying that both countries have a common goal of sustainable development, therefore, the European nation is ready to cooperate for the two sides to achieve this goal.

In its foreign policy, Switzerland always considers Vietnam as a strategic economic cooperation partner in the region, he said, adding that this is also the reason why the high-ranking Swiss delegation decided to visit Vietnam.

Asserting that Vietnam has a dynamic and successful economy that has performed well in hunger eradication and poverty reduction in recent years, the President of the National Council of Switzerland said that through talks, the Swiss business representatives wish to continue to pour investment, thereby promoting cooperation and economic development between the two countries.

He went on to say that Switzerland wants to increase investment, trade cooperation and effective economic cooperation, helping to realise Vietnam's goal of becoming a developed and high-income country by 2045. There are currently about 100 Swiss enterprises in the Southeast Asian country that create jobs for about 120,000 local workers.

Expressing his confidence in the fruitful development of the bilateral relations and with many projects and programmes of Switzerland in Vietnam over the past 30 years, Candinas emphasised that Switzerland will continue to strengthen the cooperation between the two nations in the future.

According to the Swiss leader, the European country has focused on improving the competitiveness of businesses and labour productivity. During the official visit to Vietnam, the Swiss delegation will visit a garment company to learn about the productivity and working conditions of local workers.

With the signing of an agreement on improving working conditions by the two countries, Candinas expressed his belief that Swiss programmes and cooperation will contribute to improving labour productivity and improving working conditions for workers.

The two leaders also exchanged views on a number of international and regional issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue. They affirmed the importance of respecting international law, maintaining peace and stability, and ensuring security and safety, freedom of navigation and aviation; and held that all disputes should be resolved by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

At the talk, Candinas invited Hue to pay an official visit to Switzerland soon and his invitation was accepted with pleasure./.

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