Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Le Linh Lan attended a webinar on Vietnam as a main speaker at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW ) on February 16.
The event, which was held within the framework of the Webinar Week of the Explore ASEAN Project, focused on how ASEAN can handle consequences caused by the COVID-19 crisis through collaborative efforts and transparent and effective communications.
Apart from studying ASEAN’s digital transformation, the project has also focused on technological solutions to respond to climate change, towards sustainable development. Vietnam and two other ASEAN countries – Singapore and Thailand – were selected as key research countries in the project.
Speaking at the seminar, Lan emphasised the high determination and consensus of the Vietnamese Government and people in the fight against COVID-19, saying that Vietnam has successfully controlled the pandemic.
Vietnam has achieved a “dual goal” of keeping the pandemic under control and maintaining economic growth, with its GDP growth expanding by 2.91 percent in 2020 as many countries in the world falling into serious economic recession, she said.
Referring to factors that strongly support economic recovery in the coming time, Lan emphasised positive effects from the signing of a series of new generation free trade agreements (FTAs) between Vietnam and its partners, particularly the EU–Vietnam FTA (EVFTA) which is expected to support the post- COVID-19 economic recovery in countries.
In November 2020, as the Chair of ASEAN 2020, Vietnam successfully promoted the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, with the aim of liberalising trade and investment and strengthening economic cooperation among 15 Asia-Pacific economies, including 10 ASEAN member countries and five partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, Lan said.
The above-mentioned factors help reinforce Vietnam's comparative advantage to strongly attract the shifting wave of investment flows and global production and supply chains to Vietnam amid impacts of the US-China trade war and the COVID-19 crisis, the diplomat stressed.
Regarding economic cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland, the ambassador affirmed that opportunities and potential for the two sides in the coming time still remain huge.
According to the diplomat, Switzerland is an important trade partner and the 6th largest European investor in Vietnam with a total investment of about 2 billion USD, focusing on processing, manufacturing, and electricity industries. Vietnam is home to nearly 100 Swiss enterprises and groups.
Since 2012, Vietnam and the EFTA states, including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein, have officially negotiated a FTA. Currently, the two sides are speeding up their negotiation process in a bid to sign the deal in 2021.
Lan also updated participants on Vietnam's policies on investment attraction, development prospects, and strategies to respond to climate change in the time to come.
Initiated by FHNW University in 2001, the “Explore ASEAN” Project aims to provide students with knowledge about ASEAN economies and promote connection between businesses and training institutions, thus contributing to strengthening economic cooperation between Switzerland and ASEAN countries./.
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