VGP - On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh met with Swiss and European senior officials on January 23.
Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh meets Swiss Minister and Head of the Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research Schneider Ammann, Davos, January 23, 2014 - Photo: VGP/Hai Minh
During the meeting with Minister and Head of the Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research Schneider Ammann, Deputy PM Minh affirmed that Viet Nam attaches importance to developing relations with Switzerland.
He expressed his hope that the European country will maintain its official development assistance (ODA) provision to Viet Nam and enhance investments in the sectors of its strengths, including high technology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, financing, banking and insurance.
Minister Ammann reminded that Vietnamese agencies should pay greater attention to suggestions made during his visit to Viet Nam last October.
The two sides discussed the negotiation progress for a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and agreed to boost negotiations for a conclusion to be reached before the end of this year.
Valuing the relations between the EU and Viet Nam, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Deputy PM Minh agreed to accelerate negotiations for an EU-Viet Nam free trade agreement (EVFTA).
Deputy PM Minh asked the EU to approve a comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and recognize Viet Nam’s market economy as soon as possible.
High Representative Ashton agreed to convey Viet Nam’s suggestions on EVFTA negations to the EU Commission on Trade. She also stressed that the EU places importance on its relationship with ASEAN and Viet Nam, which is manifested by FTA negotiations.
Both sides agreed to make preparations for the EU-ASEAN Conference of Foreign Ministers, whose joint declaration will be drafted by Viet Nam.