Deepening multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse are paying an official visit to Switzerland from November 25-29, at the invitation of Swiss President Guy Parmelin.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) receives his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin in New York, the US, in September 2021. (Photo: VNA)
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) receives his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin in New York, the US, in September 2021. (Photo: VNA)

This is President Phuc’s first official visit to Europe in his new position as the head of State of Vietnam. The visit, which coincides with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, aims to further deepen the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

The year 1971 marked the establishment of Vietnam – Switzerland diplomatic ties. Over half a century of good cooperation, the two nations’ bilateral relations have constantly developed and become stronger. On the basis of reliable political relations, their economic cooperation has recorded many positive results. Despite the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, the total bilateral import-export turnover reached 863.5 million USD in 2020. Switzerland is an important trade partner of Vietnam with 177 direct investment projects worth total about 1.9 billion USD, ranking 20th among 140 countries and territories with direct investment capital in Vietnam.

One of the highlights in the bilateral relationship between the two countries is the development cooperation. As one of the few Western European countries that has maintained development assistance and economic cooperation for Vietnam over the past three decades, Switzerland’s total funding for Vietnam is up to 600 million USD. Both bilateral and multilateral development cooperation projects, which were funded by Switzerland, have been carried out actively, effectively contributing to the socio-economic development and implementation of Millennium Development Goals towards the realisation of Vietnam's sustainable development goals. In March 2021, Switzerland announced the Switzerland-Vietnam Development Cooperation Programme during 2021-2024 period with total ODA capital of 85 million USD. Accordingly, Vietnam continues to become one of the few countries on the list of prioritised partners for cooperation. Being renowned as a prestigious training centre in the fields of banking, tourism, insurance and high technology, Switzerland has actively supported Vietnam through the educational projects on environment and management as well as training projects for masters and doctorates in finance, banking, and business administration.

The enhancement of multilateral diplomacy is one of the focuses of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's Europe visit. Within the framework of his trip, the President will visit the World Health Organisation (WHO) and receive leaders of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), thereby affirming Vietnam’s proactive and active participation into multilateral institutions. Amid the serious impacts from COVID-19 pandemic on all countries around the world, including Vietnam, WHO is the most official source of information on the pandemic situation, methods of treatment, the vaccines’ quality and other professional information. The organisation has also coordinated with other parties to help Vietnam quickly access vaccine sources as well as support the research and production of vaccines in the country.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit demonstrates the appreciation and aspiration for boosting multifaced cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland, thereby opening up new opportunities in potential fields for the cooperation between the two nations in the near future. The visit will contribute to improving Vietnam's position and role in multilateral institutions; affirm Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of diplomatic relations that was set by the 13th Party National Congress; and continue to deepen bilateral relations.