Vietnam and Switzerland wish to boost cooperation in various fields, especially in trade and investment, said Vietnamese ambassador to Switzerland Hoang Van Nha.
Nha was speaking at a Vietnam-Switzerland Business Forum in Zurich, Switzerland on June 15.
He noted that two-way trade turnover between the two countries reached $616 million in 2010 and $228million in the first four months of this year. Switzerland is now the world’s 18th biggest investor in Vietnam with direct investment reaching $1.95 billion in 2010 and $226 million in the first four months of 2011.
Swiss businesses are involved in 79 projects in Vietnam, most of them in connection with processing industry, information technology, tourism, education and training, with a total capitalisation of about $2 billion.
Adolf Meier, Chair of the Vietnam Committee under the Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce, emphasized that the forum, sponsored by the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Vietnamese-Asian Chamber of Commerce, opened up opportunities for businesses in both countries to seek partners.
However, he said, the level of bilateral cooperation is still far from matching the two countries’ potential.
Hans R. Schurch, a Swiss investor in HCM City, said that Vietnam is an attractive investment destination and that western investors should learn more about the country’s culture.
Vietnam still finds it difficult to penetrate the Swiss market as they can not meet the high requirements of the country.
However, as the Swiss franc keeps appreciating, Swiss businesses tend to move their production lines abroad, especially to dynamic Asian countries. This is really a good opportunity for both countries to boost bilateral economic cooperation.