Vietnam, Switzerland see new cooperation opportunities

08:19 | 04/12/2016 Cooperation

(VEN) - Swiss State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Freisch, Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), recently led a business delegation to visit Vietnam. The visit marked the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and opened new opportunities to boost bilateral cooperation in the coming time.  

During the visit, State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Freisch and the Swiss business delegation worked with the Hanoi Business Registration Office. They talked about the results of the ongoing business registration reform program in Vietnam, which is funded by the Swiss government, and explored the business environment in the country as well as investment opportunities in Hanoi.

The business registration reform program in Vietnam began in 2008 with the support from international organizations, including SECO. From 2010-2013, it received US$6.5 million of funds from SECO to finance the establishment of a national business registration system (phase 1) and a financial statements filing and business information dissemination system (phase 2). In the 2014-2018 period, SECO provided an additional nearly US$5.8 million to help increase the range of businesses using the National Business Registration System, enhance the capability of the Agency for Business Registration, and create a favorable business environment for the private sector.

Currently, the percentage of dossiers processed within the statutory time-limit at the Hanoi Business Registration Office is 83.75 percent, and more than 50 percent of business registration dossiers are sent to the office via the internet.

The results of business registration reform in Vietnam impressed State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Freisch. She affirmed the continuous support of the Swiss government for the Vietnamese government to create a favorable business environment.

Also in the framework of the visit, State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Freisch worked with the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment. They talked about the Swiss government’s new cooperation strategy with Vietnam in the 2017-2020 period, which focuses on economic development and will be implemented by SECO. Under this strategy, the Swiss government will provide Vietnam with US$92 million in nonrefundable aid to help the country accelerate institutional and economic policy reforms, improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the private sector, promote sustainable urban development and cope with climate change.

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Freisch said although climate change would affect the growth of the Vietnamese economy in the coming time, the Swiss government pledged to assist Vietnam’s efforts to achieve comprehensive, sustainable growth and improve people’s lives.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Switzerland, the two countries have promoted comprehensive bilateral cooperation, focusing on economic development. Total official development assistance provided by the Swiss government for Vietnam since 1992 has reached about US$470 million, with nonrefundable aid accounting for a majority.

Nguyen Hoa