Switzerland is now one of Viet Nam's most important European economic partners, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said in Zurich on Monday during his official visit to Switzerland.
Viet Nam welcomed and committed to creating the necessary conditions for foreign, and in particular Swiss, investors to do business in Viet Nam, Hai said during his September 10-15 trip which lands on the 40th anniversary of Viet Nam–Swiss diplomatic relations.
He was speaking at a seminar to promote Swiss investment in Viet Nam which attracted hundreds of would-be Swiss investors.
Switzerland currently has 80 projects in Viet Nam totalling US$2 billion in registered capital, and a number of Swiss companies have successfully established themselves in the country including Nestle, Holcim and Norvatis.
Switzerland is Viet Nam's second largest European trade partner with two-way trade reaching $3.7 billion in 2010.
Further co-operation has also been strengthened in development, with capacity building for financial and banking institutions increasing alongside urban planning, infrastructure development and natural resources management projects.
Viet Nam is currently the biggest recipient of Swiss official development assistance in Southeast Asia, while also a popular tourist destination for Swiss travellers.
Hai said co-operation in education was also on the rise with the number of Vietnamese students studying in Switzerland increasing in recent years.
He added that said despite recent developments in bilateral trade and investment co-operation, there was still a chasm between economic and political relations, and there were still untapped potential to be explored, particularly with Swiss expertise in engineering, the chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, banking and finance.
President of the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce Urs Lustenberger said the seminar was a good opportunity for Swiss investors to get an update about Viet Nam's economic developments, investment policies and business opportunities.
The event was also useful for networking, especially for investors wanting to expand business prospects into the ASEAN region, as Viet Nam is part of the ASEAN free trade zone. — VNS