Switzerland wants to step up EFTA-Vietnam FTA talks

Wednesday, 2019-07-10 11:58:40
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Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Guy Parmelin. (Photo: wbf.admin.ch)
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NDO/VNA – Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Guy Parmelin is leading a business and science delegation to Japan and Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the continuation of negotiations on a FTA between EFTA countries – including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein – and Vietnam will be at the top of the agenda.

According to the Swiss Federal Council, Parmelin is accompanied by representatives from Swiss firms and the Swiss education, research and innovation landscape and his Vietnam trip includes visits to a number of economic development cooperation projects.

According to Parmelin, Switzerland wants to further develop trade with Vietnam, whose economy has been growing at an above-average rate for several years now.

The annual volume of trade between Vietnam and Switzerland amounted to around CHF2 billion (US$2 billion) in 2018, an increase of about 5%. This makes Vietnam Switzerland’s fourth largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.

Figures from the Swiss National Bank show that Swiss companies have so far invested a total of around CHF690 million (US$694 million) in Vietnam, and are represented in numerous sectors.

Switzerland has been Vietnam’s economic development partner for over 25 years and is currently running 40 different projects.

As Vietnam inked a FTA with the European Union, the country has met certain international standards, Parmelin said.