Norwegian Ambassador experiences Vietnamese Tet traditions

Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam Hilde Solbakken and her family are enjoying a lot of Vietnamese traditions during their first Tet (Lunar New Year) in the country, including “xin chu” ((asking for calligraphy from scholars).
Norwegian Ambassador experiences Vietnamese Tet traditions ảnh 1
Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha (middle) at the talks (Photo: VNA)

Ha made the suggestion during his talks with Swiss Federal Councillor for Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Guy Parmelin on January 16, on the occasion of his attendance in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos.

Deputy PM Ha noted that in the first 11 months of 2022, trade between Vietnam and Switzerland reached US$721.3 million. Swiss investors have operated 197 FDI projects in Vietnam with total capital of $1.89 billion, ranking 21st out of 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

He underlined that with a nearly 100-million-strong market, the engagement in 15 free trade agreements, and the transition to sustainable growth, green, circular and low-carbon economy, Vietnam is becoming an attractive destination offering great chances in economy, trade and investment.

The Deputy PM suggested that Switzerland invest more in projects with high, new and clean technologies, environment protection, innovation, modern governance, high added values, and widespread effects, which help connect the global production and supply chain.He asked Parmelin to create favourable conditions for Swiss firms to operate in Vietnam in the long term, especially in areas of Switzerland’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as finance-banking, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agricultural product processing, renewable energy, and tourism.

Stressing that Vietnam is in need of collaboration in research and innovation towards the net-zero emission goal in 2050, the country hopes for Switzerland’s support through different cooperation forms in the field.Parmelin highly valued Vietnam’s commitments to net-zero emissions at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and congratulated Vietnam on reaching just energy transition with G7 countries and development partners.

He affirmed that the country will assist Vietnam in switching to circular economy and circular production, digital economy and digital transformation towards greener direction.

Regarding the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the two sides agreed that the negotiation conclusion will open up more chances for bilateral trade and investment partnership.

Ha proposed that the Swiss side continue to coordinate with Vietnam to speed up the negotiation of the deal in the time to come. He pledged that Vietnam is willing to act as a bridge for EFTA members to reach the ASEAN market.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, the Vietnamese official congratulated Switzerland on being elected to the UN Security Council. The two sides concurred to strengthen cooperation and mutual support at multilateral organisations and international organisations of which both sides are members.He said he hopes Parmelin will continue to back the Vietnamese community in the country to settle down.

Following their talks, Deputy PM Ha and Councillor Parmelin chaired a meeting with Swiss businesses and investors, who showed their impressions at Vietnam’s achievements in economic recovery, and highly valued the country’s economic outlook.They held that the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EFTA will help boost trade and investment of Swiss investors in Vietnam.

They said they hopes to expand investment scale and business partnerships in Vietnam.Deputy PM Ha answered questions by the investors, while suggesting a number of measures to settle existing problems and giving suggestions on green and environmentally-friendly investment.