Aug 06, 2021 / 18:41

Switzerland announces US$80 million aid for Vietnam in improving business environment

Vietnam and Switzerland agree on further cooperation in economic development in association with environmental protection and addressing social issues.

The Swiss Government is committed to providing aid of CHF70 million (US$80 million) for Vietnam in the 2021-2024 period, focusing on improving the latter’s business environment and enhance the competitiveness of the private sector.

 Overview of the launching ceremony. Photo: Swiss Embassy in Vietnam

The deal was announced at the launch of the Vietnam-Switzerland Cooperation Program 2021-2024 under the virtual format today [August 6] with the presence of Swiss Vice President and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis and Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Nguyen Chi Dung.

Vice President Ignazio Cassis stressed the cooperation program once again reaffirmed strong commitment from both countries to this long-standing and deep relation established over half a century ago.

At a meeting earlier, Minister Dung highly regarded the Swiss Government’s support for Vietnam, saying Switzerland has been Vietnam’s key partner throughout its different development phases.

 Swiss Vice President and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis. Source: MPI

Looking ahead, both Dung and the Swiss Vice President agreed on further cooperation in economic development in association with environmental protection and addressing social issues.

In this regard, the priority should be to focus on administrative reform, capacity building on financial management, urban planning, innovation, and science-technology development.

A key point in this program is to assist the local business community to promote the Environment – Society -Governance (ESG) criteria in operation while providing support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to further integrate into global supply chains.

 Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Nguyen Chi Dung.

“Vietnam considers Switzerland a major partner and expects to strengthen bilateral relations in all spheres,” Dung said, expecting more Swiss companies to expand investment activities in Vietnam.

“The MPI is willing to support Swiss companies during their operation in the country,” he noted.

At the meeting, both sides agreed to mobilize financial support from Switzerland to accelerate the digital transformation for Vietnamese enterprises, as well as in science and technology development that is in line with Vietnam’s growing demand in the coming phase.

Both the Vietnamese and Swiss Governments stressed the willingness to strengthen cooperation in trade, investment and attract major Swiss companies to invest in Vietnam, especially in hi-tech fields, eventually forming an innovation ecosystem and turn Vietnam into an upper-middle-income country by 2030.

Switzerland has been a donor of the official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam since 1992, with the majority being non-refundable aid. As of 2020, the Swiss Government provided aid worth nearly CFH500 million ($550 million) for poverty reduction and supporting the country’s shift from a centrally planned to a market economy.

Last year, the MPI and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) agreed on the four-year strategic cooperation program (2021-2024), including the aid of $80 million for Vietnam.