Vietnam and Switzerland have agreed to soon conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member, according to a joint press conference between visiting Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin.
“Such an agreement will make full use of our cooperation potential. Today we also discussed ways to speed up the signing of a trade agreement between Vietnam and the EFTA at the earliest,” President Parmelin told the press conference in Bern city on Friday.
He said Switzerland wants to sign an FTA similar to the deal that Vietnam signed with the European Union. Priority should also be given to building a favorable legal framework and effectively enforcing intellectual property rights, which he said are the factors that will further attract Swiss investors to Vietnam.
President Parmelin called President Phuc’s official visit a milestone in Switzerland-Vietnam relations.
“Vietnam is currently Switzerland’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN, after Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam is a priority country in our economic cooperation policy,” Mr. Parmelin said.
President Phuc said that bilateral cooperation has grown but has not yet been commensurate with the two countries’ potential.
“The two sides have strongly supported and created favorable conditions for the business communities of the two countries to strengthen investment cooperation in each other's market. We agreed to soon conclude negotiations on the Vietnam-EFTA free trade agreement,” said Mr. Phuc.
President Phuc noted that the two sides agreed to work together more closely in science and technology and education and training.