Int'l Cooperation

Last updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Vietnam Moves to Finalize Talks on Free Trade Agreement with EFTA

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2017

Officials from Vietnam and Switzerland have agreed that both of the governments need to make more efforts to complete negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Vietnamese government said Friday.

“As an important country that has a leading role in the EFTA, we hope that Switzerland will contribute a common voice so that the two sides can soon complete the negotiation rounds,” Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said at a meeting this week with Swiss government officials, according to a statement posted on the government website.

EFTA is an intergovernmental organization set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four member states, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Johann Schneider-Ammann, head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland said his country wishes to promote cooperation with Vietnam, an increasingly important economy in Asia Pacific.

Economic integration is an important part of Vietnamese government’s economic agenda. Vietnam has signed more than 10 free trade agreements with regional and international partners, and such a deal with EFTA is part of that agenda.

Vietnam and EFTA began negotiations on the free trade agreement in 2012. The fifth negotiation round is scheduled to take place later this month in Hanoi, the government said. The round is expected to address such remaining issues, including goods and service trading, investment, government procurement, intellectual property rights, rules of origin and customs.

Susanne Leutenegger Oberholzer, Head of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee under the Swiss National Council, said that the negations are nearing the final phase and that the two sides need to make more efforts to complete them.


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