Vietnam-Switzerland Economic Cooperation Opens Up Ample Room For Progress

A number of opportunities to advance economic ties between Vietnam and Switzerland were among the topics discussed at the Vietnam-Japan Investment Forum in Kanagawa prefecture today (Sep. 10). US President Joe Biden's visit to Vietnam was also among the highlights, while overseas Vietnamese found solace in using the Vietnamese language to connect with their homeland.


Vietnam News Today (September 10): Notable Headlines

There is significant potential for economic cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland.

The Vietnam-Japan Investment Forum took place in Kanagawa prefecture.

[Title] Major Highlights of President Joe Biden’s Visit to Vietnam

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The recently concluded visit of US President Joe Biden to Vietnam yielded several key highlights that are set to shape the bilateral relations between the two countries. With the aim of enhancing cooperation and strengthening alliances, President Biden’s trip was marked by a series of significant events and meetings.

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One of the major highlights of the visit was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United States and Vietnam, focusing on various areas of mutual interest such as climate change, security, trade, and regional stability. This MoU sets the stage for sustained collaboration and future joint initiatives between the two nations.

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Another significant event during President Biden’s visit was his participation in the ASEAN Summit, where he engaged in substantive discussions with leaders from Southeast Asian countries. The discussions revolved around regional security, economic cooperation, and COVID-19 response efforts, highlighting the United States’ commitment to the ASEAN region.

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President Biden’s visit also emphasized the importance of advancing economic ties between the United States and Vietnam. This was evident through various business engagements and trade discussions, aimed at further boosting bilateral trade and investment. Key sectors of focus included technology, renewable energy, and infrastructure development.

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Furthermore, President Biden addressed the ongoing human rights concerns in Vietnam, emphasizing the United States’ commitment to universal values and democracy. Through diplomatic dialogues, the visit provided an opportunity for open discussions and encouraged progress in areas related to human rights, freedom of expression, and democracy.

In conclusion, President Joe Biden’s visit to Vietnam showcased the United States’ commitment to deepening bilateral relations and fostering cooperation in various domains. By signing key agreements, participating in regional summits, promoting economic ties, and addressing human rights concerns, the visit marked an important chapter in the evolving partnership between the United States and Vietnam.

The Vietnamese language serves as a vital tool for overseas Vietnamese to maintain a strong connection with their homeland.

Vietnam has announced plans to launch commercial 5G services by early 2024. The country aims to leverage 5G technology to drive digital transformation across various sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and transportation. The move is expected to accelerate economic growth and improve connectivity in both urban and rural areas.

The Vietnamese government has been actively working on developing the 5G infrastructure and creating an enabling environment for telecom operators to deploy the technology. This includes granting licenses and providing support for research and development activities. Telecom companies such as Viettel, VNPT, and Mobifone have already started conducting 5G trials in major cities.

With 5G, Vietnam aims to enhance its competitiveness in the global market and become a digital powerhouse in the Southeast Asia region. The faster download and upload speeds, low latency, and massive connectivity offered by 5G are expected to drive innovation and enable new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The commercialization of 5G in Vietnam is expected to bring about significant socio-economic benefits, including improved healthcare services, better educational opportunities, and enhanced public safety measures. It will also open up new business opportunities and attract investment in the country’s digital economy.

Updated on October 20, 2023.

A new publication exploring the historic visit of Cuban leader Fidel Castro to Vietnam has been recently released. This book delves into the significant impact of Castro’s trip to Vietnam and provides an insightful analysis of the political and cultural exchanges between the two nations during this time. The publication sheds light on the profound friendship and mutual support that developed between Cuba and Vietnam, and the lasting legacy of Castro’s visit. This engaging and informative book offers an in-depth understanding of the historical context and significance of Castro’s trip, making it a valuable resource for scholars, students, and anyone interested in Cuban-Vietnamese relations.

Vietnam emerges victorious with multiple accolades at ASEAN Public Relations Excellence Awards

A newly established hi-tech film factory, financed by German investments, has been officially inaugurated in the province of Binh Dinh. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and is poised to contribute significantly to the advancement of the film industry.

French Parliamentarians Applauded for their Contribution to Vietnam-France Friendship

Members of the French Parliament were praised and applauded for their significant role in strengthening and promoting the strong friendship between Vietnam and France.

This acknowledgment was made during a special ceremony held at the French National Assembly, where several parliamentarians were recognized for their remarkable efforts in fostering bilateral relations and enhancing cultural exchange between the two nations.

The event was attended by distinguished guests, including government officials, ambassadors, and representatives from various sectors, all of whom expressed their appreciation for the parliamentarians’ dedication and commitment.

Speakers at the ceremony emphasized the importance of continued collaboration and cooperation between Vietnam and France, acknowledging the parliamentary contributions as crucial in bringing the two countries closer together.

The event concluded with warm applause, as a gesture of gratitude towards the parliamentarians for their outstanding contribution to the Vietnam-France friendship.

Some of Vietnamese farm products available for sales at supermarkets in Switzerland. (Photo: SVBG)
Some Vietnamese farm products are available for sale at supermarkets in Switzerland. (Photo: SVBG)

Vietnam-Switzerland Economic Cooperation Offers Abundant Opportunities: Embassy

Over 150 attendees, comprised of policymakers, economic experts, and business representatives, participated in a roundtable discussion held in Zurich on September 8. The purpose of the event was to explore the possibilities for economic collaboration between Vietnam and Switzerland.

In his opening address, Ambassador Phung The Long of Vietnam to Switzerland acknowledged the significant progress made in the bilateral diplomacy between the two countries over the past 50 years. He emphasized that the leaders of Vietnam and Switzerland are committed to an even stronger collaboration in the face of evolving global circumstances.

Switzerland has recently adopted the Southeast Asia Strategy for 2023-2026, recognizing Vietnam as a highly dynamic economy in the region and an increasingly significant partner for Swiss endeavors.

The Government of Vietnam highly values its friendship and cooperation with Switzerland, recognizing the European nation as a significant partner in Europe. Both countries are currently prioritizing negotiations for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member.

Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam, Thomas Gass, joined the virtual discussion and emphasized the robust development of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Vietnam over the past 52 years. Not limited to political and multilateral cooperation, these relations span various sectors such as economy, technical assistance, trade, investment, scientific research, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges. The regular high-level engagements between both countries have laid a solid foundation for the continuous growth of trade and investment ties.

The visit to Vietnam in June 2023 by President of the National Council of Switzerland, Martin Candinas, aimed to enhance the existing cooperation between the two countries and their legislative bodies. The diplomat emphasized the significant role played by this visit in strengthening bilateral relations.

At the conference, participants reached a consensus that there are ample untapped opportunities and potential for joint development and innovation between the two parties. It was anticipated that the signing of the EFTA agreement would occur in the near future, facilitating business communities in harnessing opportunities for cooperative development and fostering the exchange of trade in goods and investment capital. These insights were reported by VOV.

The speakers engaged in fruitful discussions and shared their perspectives on the establishment of a sustainable startup ecosystem in Vietnam, along with potential investment prospects within the nation.

The Embassy of Vietnam in Switzerland, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, the Swiss-Asia Chamber of Commerce, Bellecapital, Keep It Beautiful Vietnam (KIBV), and the Association of Vietnamese Experts in Switzerland (AIEVS), organized the event as part of Vietnam Day 2023.

Japan Hosts Vietnam-Focused Investment Forum in Kanagawa

The Vietnam-Japan Investment Forum took place in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan on September 8th. This significant event was organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan.

The event was organized jointly by the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and the administrations of Vietnam’s northern Ha Nam and Bac Ninh provinces. Its objective was to foster Japanese investment in Vietnam, encouraging future economic collaborations between the two countries.

During the event’s opening, Ambassador Pham Quang Hieu emphasized the significant role that Japan plays as Vietnam’s leading economic partner and largest provider of ODA. Additionally, Japan stands as the second major labor partner, third largest tourist market, and fourth largest trading partner for Vietnam.

Over the past 35 years, investors from Japan, particularly Kanagawa, have played a significant role in Vietnam’s foreign direct investment attraction process.

Nguyen Anh Chuc, the Standing Vice Chairman of the Ha Nam People’s Committee, emphasized the province’s significant potential in various sectors, including the processing industry, information technology, automobile manufacturing, agricultural machinery and equipment, electric and electronic equipment, tourism, and services.

An overview of the forum (Photo: VNA)
An overview of the forum (Photo: VNA)

In addition, the locality is implementing various measures to attract increased foreign investment. These include the development of a robust infrastructure system, as well as the provision of comprehensive support to investors in terms of human resources. Furthermore, the region actively engages in constructive dialogues with investors to address any obstacles they may encounter.

According to Le Thi Thu Huyen, Vice Director of the Management Board of Bac Ninh Industrial Parks, Bac Ninh has ranked among the top 10 localities in the country in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). This information was reported by VNA.

According to the data for the year 2022, Bac Ninh has successfully attracted nearly 2,000 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects amounting to a total value of US$24.4 billion. Remarkably, 70% of these projects are concentrated in the processing and manufacturing industries.

Bac Ninh province currently boasts a significant presence of Japanese investment, hosting over 100 projects with a cumulative capital of US$1.67 billion. This places Japan as the third largest foreign investor out of a total of 39 countries and territories operating in Bac Ninh.

Huyen provided information on the attractive incentives offered by Bac Ninh to foreign investors. These include a 10% tax reduction for a period of 15 years, complete exemption from corporate income tax for four years, and a subsequent 50% reduction for the next nine years.

During the forum, Kuroiwa Yuji, the Governor of Kanagawa, expressed his belief that it presented a valuable opportunity for local companies to stay informed about Vietnam’s investment landscape and strategize their future investments in the country.

The speaker expressed hope that more businesses from Kanagawa would consider Vietnam as their investment destination, thereby enhancing collaboration between the two countries.

The forum served as the inaugural event of the Vietnam Days in Kanagawa program in 2023, taking place from September 8 to September 10.

Joe Biden Visits Vietnam: Highlights from US President’s Trip

President Joe Biden of the United States is set to make a State visit to Vietnam on September 9-10, upon the invitation of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

During his visit, President Biden will engage in discussions with President Trong and other high-ranking Vietnamese officials. Additionally, he will participate in various activities with businesses and members of the public.

According to the Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States, Nguyen Quoc Dung, the two nations will engage in a comprehensive review of their established partnership, encompassing all areas of collaboration. They will also outline future directions for bilateral relations, with a particular emphasis on cooperation in science and technology, economy, trade, investment, people-to-people exchanges, and addressing the aftermath of war.

“This significant development will mark a new era in the relationship between Vietnam and the United States, providing Vietnam with enhanced opportunities to solidify its position in the regional and global value chain,” stated the ambassador.

Both parties have also agreed to engage in the exchange of war memorabilia and facilitate meetings between their respective technology enterprises. Additionally, significant economic agreements and contracts with a potential value in the billions are anticipated to be signed, as disclosed by the ambassador.

According to VOV, Ambassador Dung emphasized the special significance of President Biden’s visit, which coincides with the commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the comprehensive partnership between the two nations.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Dung reveals US President Joe Biden's major activities in Vietnam during his State visit on September 9-10.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Dung reveals US President Joe Biden’s major activities in Vietnam during his State visit on September 9-10.

“President Biden’s forthcoming visit is set to further strengthen and elevate the burgeoning relationship between Vietnam and the United States. This agreement was reached during a phone call between Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Joe Biden on March 29, 2023,” stated the diplomat, highlighting the potential for significant advancements in Vietnam-US relations driven by the comprehensive and extensive development of bilateral ties.

He expressed that hosting President Biden on an official visit is a testament to Vietnam’s commitment to implementing a foreign policy that emphasizes independence, self-sufficiency, diversified international relations, and active participation in multilateral organizations. This visit also reflects Vietnam’s steadfast dedication to comprehensive and extensive global integration.

I am optimistic about the future of bilateral relations between the two countries, considering the impressive progress and achievements they have made in recent times. Additionally, the potential and aspirations of their respective peoples, coupled with the introduction of new cooperation frameworks that will be proposed by the leaders during President Biden’s visit, further strengthen my belief. It is expected that the outcomes of this visit will significantly enhance the relationship between the US and ASEAN, while promoting peace, cooperation, and development in the region and the world as a whole. Ambassador Dung concluded with this sentiment.

Vietnam and the United States initiated diplomatic relations in 1995, forging a comprehensive partnership in 2013. Since then, bilateral relations have flourished significantly, both in terms of quantity and quality, proving to be highly fruitful and effective.

Vietnam has experienced a remarkable growth in two-way trade turnover, increasing from a mere US$25 billion in 2012 to an impressive US$139 billion in 2022. This substantial growth has positioned Vietnam as the seventh largest trading partner of the United States.

The United States currently serves as Vietnam’s primary destination for exported goods. Over the past two years, Vietnam has achieved impressive export earnings of over US$100 billion annually from its trade with the US. This significant influx of revenue has notably contributed to Vietnam’s efforts in maintaining a balanced international trade portfolio with other nations.

The United States expresses its unequivocal support for a robust, autonomous, self-sufficient, and thriving Vietnam. Moreover, the US aims to elevate their comprehensive partnership to unparalleled levels of cooperation and collaboration.

Vietnamese Language Bridges Gap between Overseas Vietnamese and Their Homeland

We believe that it is important to preserve and promote the Vietnamese language among overseas Vietnamese communities worldwide. By doing so, we not only enhance their language skills, but also foster a sense of pride and love for their homeland.

For individuals in the Vietnamese diaspora, the Vietnamese language holds immense significance as it serves as a vital tool in the preservation, dissemination, and transmission of their cultural heritage. Additionally, it serves as a profound link, connecting Vietnamese communities worldwide with their ancestral homeland.

The instruction of the Vietnamese language to Vietnamese individuals residing abroad, particularly the younger demographic, has blossomed into a prominent movement within Vietnamese communities worldwide. Presently, there are approximately 200 educational centers and institutions dedicated to instructing Vietnamese in the United States, along with 39 classes located in Thailand, 33 schools situated in Cambodia, and 13 schools established in Laos.

Since 2013, the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs (SCOVA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has collaborated with the Ministry of Education and Training to offer specialized training courses for teachers responsible for teaching Vietnamese abroad.

Over 800 teachers have received training through our courses, with the most recent session taking place from August 16th to 30th.

Dao Le Quynh Phan, an overseas Vietnamese residing in Thailand, highlights a significant demand for learning the Vietnamese language in Thailand, with particular emphasis on the country’s northeast region. This region boasts the third largest Vietnamese community in Thailand.

After completing two training courses, Phan expressed her increased proficiency in teaching and her ability to employ effective instructional methods with her students. She particularly excels in educating the second and third generations of Vietnamese individuals residing in Thailand.

This year’s annual summer camp for overseas Vietnamese youth featured a series of activities aimed at promoting the teaching and learning of the Vietnamese language.

During the camp, participants were presented with the exciting opportunity to participate in a Vietnamese language competition. They showcased their talents by engaging in activities such as storytelling, singing, rapping, and reciting poetry, all in the Vietnamese language.

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 10): Ample Room For Vietnam – Switzerland Economic Cooperation
“Chao Tieng Viet” ( Hello Vietnamese) – a TV program on teaching Vietnamese for overseas Vietnamese people. (Photo: VNA)

Le Thanh Trang, a participant from Russia, expressed how the competition has deepened her appreciation and understanding of her mother tongue.

She strongly believes in her ability to make a positive impact on the Vietnamese language and is deeply committed to preserving the rich cultural heritage of her nation.

“Even though I did not have the opportunity to be born and raised in Vietnam, the Vietnamese language has allowed me to deeply appreciate the cultural magnificence of the country,” she expressed.

Last year, the Prime Minister granted approval to the project titled “Honoring the Vietnamese Language in the Overseas Vietnamese Community from 2023 to 2030”.

According to Vietnam News Agency (VNA), September 8, 2023, marked the inaugural celebration of “Vietnamese Language Day” as part of the project’s first year.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang, who is also the Chairwoman of the SCOVA, has stated that the project has the objective of establishing “Vietnamese Language Day” as a significant annual event in the cultural and spiritual lives of overseas Vietnamese communities. The aim is to encourage the preservation and promotion of the Vietnamese language on a global scale.

The SCOVA has initiated a project to seek out “Ambassadors of the Vietnamese language abroad in 2023”. The contest has been underway since the start of the year.

The committee aims to establish libraries in countries including Japan, Slovakia, Austria, and Hungary, by the end of the year. These libraries will offer Vietnamese books and aim to serve local communities. Additionally, the committee will continue to support the promotion of Vietnamese language learning and teaching abroad. This support may include the provision of teaching and learning materials, as well as Vietnamese language teaching TV programs.

The Deputy Foreign Minister expressed his hope that efforts to promote the Vietnamese language and culture will continue to gain recognition and support from communities, organizations, and individuals both domestically and internationally.

Vietnam launching 5G commercial services in early 2024

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is planning to hold an auction for 5G frequencies in November. The first licenses for 5G deployment are anticipated to be issued by the end of this year.

Auctioning frequencies is essential for the successful commercialization of 5G technology. The ministry is eager to expedite this process and organize auctions in the near future in order to facilitate the deployment of new technologies. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has been patiently waiting since 2019 for the amended Law on Frequencies to become effective on July 1, 2023.

Following the completion of this task, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has successfully compiled Decree 63, which outlines the systematic organization and calculation procedures for frequency auctions. In alignment with the outlined roadmap, the auction is scheduled to take place in November.

Announcement: 5G Frequency Rights Granting by MIC

Following the successful conclusion of the auction, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has announced its plans to grant 5G frequency rights in 2023. This strategic move will enable telecom carriers to initiate the deployment of 5G technology from 2024 onwards.

Vietnam is currently making significant progress in both licensing and manufacturing 5G telecom equipment. Viettel, a major telecommunications company, has successfully developed equipment and is currently in the final stage of product testing. The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is optimistic about granting certificates to Viettel’s equipment upon meeting Vietnamese standards.

According to VNN’s report, the Ministry has recently signed a decision to establish fees for wavebands, in order to facilitate the auction process for the usage rights of 4G and 5G frequencies.

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

The following frequency bands will be auctioned:

– 700 MHz: 703-733 MHz and 758-788 MHz
– 2600 MHz: 2500-2600 MHz
– 3700 MHz: 3560-4000 MHz

The Minister of Information and Communications has tasked the Authority of Radio Frequency Management (ARFM) with selecting a suitable organization to perform price appraisal services. The purpose of this appraisal is to determine the basic fee that will be applied to the following wavebands: 703-733 MHz, 758-788 MHz, 2500-2600 MHz, and 3560-4000 MHz. Once the appraisal is complete, the results will be submitted to the MIC, who will then establish official fee rates for these wavebands.

The 700 Mhz waveband was commonly utilized for terrestrial analog television systems, as indicated by ARFM. However, as part of the project on terrestrial television transmission and broadcasting digitization by 2020, this system has been replaced by terrestrial digital television.

In December 2020, Vietnam made the decision to discontinue terrestrial analog television nationwide. This move allowed for the 700 MHz waveband to be utilized for the implementation of the IMT system.

Vietnam’s upcoming auction for the allocation of frequency bands, including 700 MHz, 2600 MHz, and 3700 MHz, is set to significantly enhance the country’s mobile information system. With this auction, Vietnam will have access to an additional 500 MHz of bandwidth, allowing for the seamless deployment of 4G and 5G technologies throughout the nation.

Rosie Nguyen