Geneva (VNA) – The Vietnamese Journalists Association (VJA) and the Foreign Press Association in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (APES) have agreed to extend the two-year cooperation agreement they reached in late 2017.
The consensus was reached during a meeting between VJA President Thuan Huu and APES President Jean Musy as part of a VJA delegation’s working visit to Switzerland from June 29-July 4.
Accordingly, the two sides will continue delegation exchange. In November 2017, an APES delegation headed by its President Jean Musy paid the first-ever visit to Vietnam.
While in Geneva, the Vietnamese journalists had a working session with Delegate to International Geneva Olivier Coutau, who briefed his guests on the history, politics and administrative system of the Geneva city and state.
Geneva houses the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) and 35 inter-governmental organisations, and diplomatic corps from 176 countries worldwide, he said.
The Vietnamese delegation also met with representatives from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Berne.
They talked about the relationship between Vietnam and Switzerland, including bilateral trade and economic ties.
Economic cooperation is always a pillar of the bilateral relations since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1971. In 2016, two-way trade reached 2 billion Franc (roughly 2 billion USD), up 36 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam is Switzerland’s fourth largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With the presence of more than 90 groups and companies like Nestle, Novatis, Roche and Holcim in Vietnam, Switzerland has become the country’s fourth largest European investor.
Total Swiss investment in Vietnam reached 2.4 billion USD, reflecting the increasing interest of Swiss businesses in the Southeast Asian market.
The two countries have thus far signed more than 30 bilateral cooperation agreements in economy. Currently, Switzerland is teaming up with three other countries in the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) area to negotiate the signing of the Vietnam-EFTA Free Trade Agreement. The latest round of talks took place last May.
At a meeting with the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, the Vietnamese journalists were briefed on Switzerland’s vocational training and education.
During their visit, the VJA delegation also visited the headquarters of the UN and landscapes in Geneva, Lausanne and Berne.-VNA