Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue (second from right) shakes hands with Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Johann N. Schneider-Ammann
Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will accelerate the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) in the first half of 2018.
The information was heard at a bilateral meeting between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue and Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland Johann N. Schneider-Ammann on the sidelines of the ongoing 48th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Johann N. Schneider-Ammann affirmed that Switzerland wishes to promote relations with Vietnam, a country with an increasingly important position in the Asia-Pacific region.
The two sides also expected to speed up a consensus of opinion towards the signing of a FTA between Vietnam and EFTA including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland in the first six months of this year.
„As a country with the leading role in the EFTA, we hope that Switzerland will raise its voice to step up the early completion of rounds of negotiations“, Deputy PM Hue said.
The Vietnamese Deputy PM also emphasised that international economic integration is a key task and a consistent policy of the Vietnamese Government, adding that Vietnam has been a member of more than 10 regional and global free trade agreements.
The government official noted that the FTA between Vietnam and the EFTA should ensure balanced benefits and eye sustainable development for both sides.
Deputy PM Hue also met with President, Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum Børge Brende who was the former Foreign Minister of Norway and a member economy of the EFTA.
Børge Brende said that a FTA between the EFTA and Vietnam will be an opportunity for new development of relevant sides while expressing his support for cooperation trends towards global trade liberalisation including the signing of the Vietnam-EFTA free trade pact.