Vietnam meets with WTO, Swiss customs-finance officials hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan (Photo: VNA)

Geneva (VNA) – A delegation of Vietnamese finance, customs and taxation officials visited Switzerland and met with officials of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Swiss Federal Customs Administration and Federal Department of Finance from March 5 – 8.

The visiting delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan, included representatives of the General Department of Customs and the General Department of Taxation.

At a working session with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on March 7, the two sides discussed the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Vietnam, which ratified the pact in November 2015.

As the head of the negotiation group on the agreement, the customs general department actively sought technical assistance to prepare for the TFA implementation and engaged in bilateral and international forums on trade facilitation.

Deputy Minister Tuan thanked WTO officials for helping Vietnam during negotiations and carry out post-negotiation works, especially sending experts to help the country gain an insight into and disseminate the deal.

Official WTO membership since 2007 has helped Vietnam gain valuable experience and make use of the organisation as a negotiation and dialogue channel to better protect Vietnamese enterprises’ interests in the global business world, he added.

At a meeting with Deputy Director of the Swiss Federal Customs Administration Robert Lussi the same day, the two sides reviewed the cooperation between the two countries’ customs agencies, noting that they signed a cooperation document in 2012.

Lussi said Vietnam is an important trade partner of Switzerland, and his country has continually paid attention to building a bilateral cooperation programme.

Meeting with State Secretary in the Swiss Federal Department of Finance Jacques de Watteville, Tuan spoke highly of the nations’ cooperation, including technical assistance to Vietnam to promote public financial management and public debt management, fine-tune institutional framework and tax policies, streamline tax procedures, and help with financial solutions for disaster risks and insurance.

The officials also shared experience in tax management and the realisation of the Vietnam – Switzerland agreement on avoidance of double taxation, which took effect in 1997.-VNA