(MPI) - On June 5, 2020 at the head office of Ministry of Planning and Investment, Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung met with Mr. Ivo Sieber on the occasion of his new assignment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Switzerland in Vietnam.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung and Mr. Ivo Sieber. Photo: MPI
The meeting took place in a special context that the world is struggling to fight the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic, which threatens lives and global economic recession.
The Swiss Ambassador congratulated Vietnam on the successful settlement of the medical crisis and became an experience for many countries in directing and administering effective preventive measures. He felt happy to work in Vietnam and to witness the development of cooperation between the two countries. The Ambassador said that bilateral trade between Vietnam and Switzerland reached 3.4 billion USD in 2019, of which Vietnam had a surplus with Switzerland according to Swiss statistics. With an open policy of foreign investment, Swiss businesses will continue to invest in Vietnam. The Ambassador congratulated Vietnam on signing Free Trade Agreement with the EU which would soon come into effect. He hoped that the two sides would also accelerate the negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to promote trade and investment of the two countries.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung shared his lesson on preventing the pandemic, which highlighted the Government's leadership and management role, the people's unanimity, the pre-eminence of the regime, the efforts and the effectiveness of the health system, where the lives and interests of the People were put over economic interests.
At the meeting, Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung and Ambassador Ivo Sieber discussed Vietnam's needs in socio-economic development in the period of 2021-2025 with a vision to 2030. Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung analyzed challenges for Vietnam in the development process. Vietnam has succeeded in eradicating hunger and reducing poverty, achieving economic development, raising the living standards of people and becoming a middle-income country. After 30 years of renovation, the size of Vietnam's economy increases 40 times; its economic structure changes positively; all sectors maintain good development; foreign investment achieves great results; and private economic development is supported, etc. However, in the coming time, Vietnam will face many challenges, such as "water" insecurity, harsh competition in the region and among countries in unstable economic environment, increasing protectionism. The risks are constantly appearing and it is imperative to respond quickly. Therefore, great efforts must be made so as not to miss opportunities and not to be "overtaken and surpassed". Vietnam needs to innovate the economic and institutional models faster, to clear infrastructure bottlenecks in human resources and science and technology.
With this vision, the community of donors, including Switzerland, always plays an important role in the development of Vietnam both economically and socially. Vietnam is still in need of further support in terms of resources and experience. Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung highly appreciated the stable and long-term relationship between Vietnam and Switzerland, as proved by the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relationship in 2021.
Finally, Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung and Ambassador Ivo Sieber affirmed to continue sharing information regularly through maintaining meetings, exchanging and assigning officials from the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Swiss Economic Cooperation Agency (SECO) to closely cooperate with each other to build a framework of Vietnam - Switzerland cooperation plan for the period of 2021-2024.
Ministry of Planning and Investment