Vietnam and Switzerland have great potential for cooperation, especially in trade and investment, a Vietnamese diplomat has said.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Hoang Van Nha made this statement at the Vietnam-Switzerland Business Forum held in Zurich on June 15.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor to Switzerland Luong Manh Hung informed the forum that trade development between the two countries was still modest, due to Switzerland ’s demands for high quality products.

Switzerland intended to move parts of its production chains overseas, especially to Asia , where there are active developing economies. This is expected to provide opportunities for economic cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland , Hung said.

Addressing the forum, President of the Vietnam Committee under the Switzerland-Asia Chamber of Commerce Adolf Meier said investment cooperation between the two countries is yet to match their potential, especially when Switzerland has potential in finance and hi-technology.

Hans Schurch from the Buhler food processing firm, which is operating in Ho Chi Minh City , said that Vietnam is an attractive destination for investors. However, western investors should study Vietnamese culture to achieve business successes in the country.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland , two-way trade turnover hit 616 million USD in 2010 and 228 million USD in the first four months of this year. Switzerland ranks 18 th among foreign investors in Vietnam , with a total direct foreign investment of 1.95 billion USD in 2010 and 226 million USD in the first four months of 2011.

Swiss businesses are investing in 79 projects in Vietnam with a registered capital of about 2 billion USD, mainly in processing industries, IT, tourism, education and training. Those businesses made an import-export turnover of over 3.47 billion USD in 2010./.