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Vietnam, Switzerland release joint communiqué

Vietnam and Switzerland released a joint communiqué on the results of Swiss President Pascal Couchepin’s first official visit to Vietnam from August 3-6 at the invitation of President Nguyen Minh Triet.

According to the communiqué, the visit took place at a time when Vietnam has made tremendous achievements in carrying out the Doi Moi (Renewal) process and is experiencing difficulties of the macro economy. President Couchelin’s visit demonstrated Switzerland’s support for Vietnam’s development and international integration process.

The two Presidents expressed their pleasure at the rapid and sustainable development of bilateral ties in various areas. They noted that Vietnam and Switzerland have so far signed many framework agreements on many important cooperation areas, laying firm foundations for further development in the future.

They agreed that the two Governments will conduct negotiations and sign a visa exemption agreement for official passport holders at an earliest possible time.
They acknowledged the two countries’ efforts to increase economic and trade ties, with two-way trade value reaching US$410 million in 2007, up 50 percent compared to 2000’s figure.

President Triet affirmed that Vietnam will fulfil its commitments to the World Trade Organisations and accelerate its economic reform in line with the socialist-oriented market economy.

President Couchepin voiced Switzerland’s support for this process by developing a support project for Vietnam in the post-WTO period with funding channelled through the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). 

President Couchepin acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts to build a law-governed state with clear and transparent legal system, considering it an important factor behind national stability and development.

The two Presidents stressed the importance of development assistance from Switzerland and other countries in implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals in the country, resulting in impressive achievements in poverty reduction. Thanks to drastic reforms and high economic growth, Vietnam is on the right track to become a medium-level income nation. 

The two Presidents also stressed the importance of human resources for sustainable development and agreed to increase bilateral cooperation in education and training. They welcomed the signing of cooperation agreements between the National University of Hanoi and the University of Geneva and between the Technology University of Ho Chi Minh City and the University of Lausanne. President Couchepin said he encourages Swiss universities to increase PhD scholarships for Vietnamese graduates.

Both the host and guest acknowledged the effective cooperation between the two countries’ financial and banking institutions, particularly in providing technical assistance and transferring technology and experience from Swiss companies to Vietnamese partners. President Couchepin affirmed that Switzerland will support Vietnam in this area.

President Triet thanked Switzerland for supporting Vietnam in joining the World Trade Organisation and being elected to the UN Security Council (UNSC) in the 2008-2009 period.

President Couchepin praised Vietnam’s contributions to global peace and security in its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, especially when it assumed the UNSC presidency in July 2008.

The two Presidents expressed their elation at the results of human rights dialogue over the past years, meeting the two countries’ requirements.

During his stay, President Coupechin visited Ho Chi Minh City and met with the Swiss community there. (VOV)

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