Based in Lausanne, the SVBG, the first of its kind founded by Vietnamese expatriates in Switzerland, has been set to focus on offering trade information via workshops, forums, and internal bulletins; providing legal consultations and guidance; developing links for technological transfers and improvement; and introducing quality human resources. It will also make recommendations for more favourable business climate to competent agencies of both nations, while organising socio-cultural activities serving its goals.
At the debut ceremony Vietnamese Ambassador Le Linh Lan stressed the group came into being at a special time as Vietnam has placed the COVID-19 pandemic under control and prepared best conditions possible to welcome Swiss investors.
In 2020, Vietnam’s economy grew 2.91%, making it one of the few countries that have maintained positive GDP growth while many others in the world fell into severe recession. Also in August last year, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement took effect, opening up huge trade and investment opportunities for both sides. In last November, as the Chair of the ASEAN, Vietnam successfully pushed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), establishing the biggest free trade area worldwide.
Lan stressed the embassy supports the operation of the SVBG.
According to the diplomat, Switzerland is the 6th largest European investor in Vietnam, with its investment totaling US$2 billion, mostly in manufacturing – processing and electricity. Currently, close to 100 Swiss firms are operating in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is the four biggest trade partner of Switzerland in ASEAN, with bilateral trade exceeding US$3.6 billion in 2019. Since 2012, Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association – the intergovernmental organisation of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – began negotiations for a FTA, which is expected to be signed this year.
As scheduled, the SVBG will make debut to its Swiss partners at the Webinar Market Focus Vietnam that the group co-hosts with the embassy and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services.