WEF Davos 2024 - opportunity for Viet Nam to demonstrate commitment to concrete solutions
VGP - The 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) will provide Viet Nam with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to concrete solutions.
Ambassador of Switzerland to Viet Nam Thomas Gass made the above statement in his recent interview with the VGP ahead of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's upcoming tour to Davos, Switzerland to attend the 54th Annual Meeting of the WEF.
The Ambassador said, it is very meaningful that the Vietnamese Prime Minister is participating actively in this reflection.
He expressed his delight at the Prime Minister's remarks at the WEF's 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions which took place in Tianjin, China, from June 27-29, 2023.
Accordingly, the Prime Minister reminded that in the face of strong headwinds, the international community needs "to uphold global solidarity and multilateralism and a people-centered approach".
"Viet Nam can speak with confidence because it has made significant contributions to the resolution of a wide range of global issues and deserves full recognition from the international community for its efforts", reiterated the diplomat.
Indeed, as an active member of ASEAN, Viet Nam has played an important role in promoting regional stability and cooperation. The nation has also participated in peacekeeping operations around the world, including in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Viet Nam has also taken a number of significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint, with a commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The nation is also working to improve its resilience to climate change by adopting a National Climate Change Adaptation Plan and implementing measures to protect vulnerable communities.
Viet Nam is also working to improve its energy security by investing in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.
The forum will therefore provide the Vietnamese delegation with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to concrete solutions and to seek investment and resources from international companies, business groups and investment funds, in particular possibly from Switzerland, emphasized the Ambassador.
According to Thomas Gass, the 54th Annual Meeting of the WEF, is convened under the theme "Rebuilding Trust", reflecting a dedication to addressing and remedying the challenges related to trust in various sectors, be it economic, political or societal.
The international community and the world economy have had to face many disruptive chocks in recent years such as the recent violence in the Middle East, the conflict in Ukraine, the disdain which some countries demonstrate against International Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Law.
In addition, countries are facing deep structural shifts are happening: Geoeconomics (cost of living crisis, energy and food insecurity, and instability), climate change, etc.
The WEF is a place where leaders of states and governments, captains of the private sector and representatives of academia and civil society take a "time out" to reflect and search for solutions, hold each other accountable to common visions such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement, and encourage champions and early movers to take positive initiatives.
"We desperately need to recommit to multilateralism and international rule of law. New and upgraded platforms are needed for dialogue and to build stronger partnerships", underlined the diplomat.
The complex problems cannot be solved by governments alone, because any effective solution will require large investments that can only be made with the active involvement of the private sector. Sustainable solutions therefore need to take into account the viability and profitability of businesses and the functioning of the global economy, he suggested.
Viet Nam is playing a growing part in the region and beyond
Regarding Viet Nam's efforts to initiatives and operations of the WEF, Thomas Gass said, the East Asian region is a key driver of the global economy, and therefore plays an increasingly vital role in shaping solutions to a wide range of global challenges.
Viet Nam is playing a growing part, not only in the region but also beyond. In this context, and given Viet Nam's goal of becoming a high-income, and low-carbon country within 20 years, it is all the more important for the nation to demonstrate its willingness to maintain a continuous dialogue and share with the international community its approach, outlook and experience on integration into the global system and socio-economic development.
In September 2023, the Prime Minister and Professor Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the WEF, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Viet Nam and WEF for the period 2023-2026.
"With the signing of the MoU, Viet Nam has the prospect of accessing global resources and expertise and participating in the WEF's global programs", noted the Ambassador.
The economy requires a strong and determined will to continue to commit to sustainable development, make administrative procedures faster and more transparent, substantially improve education and human resource development, accelerate the promotion of the digital economy, and other measures, he recommended.
"I am well aware that the Vietnamese authorities are working hard to address these challenges, as evidenced by increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, but it is important to keep in mind that global competition to attract foreign investment is fierce and efforts must be made to continuously improve conditions to maintain an edge over competitors", shared Thomas Gass.
The Government of Viet Nam is addressing through the mainstreaming of the principles of eco-industrial parks. Furthermore, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee is coordinating with WEF to establish a 4.0 Industrial Revolution Center in HCMC–to address key issues such as Circular Economy and Digitalization.
Impetus for Viet Nam-Switzerland warm relations
This year Viet Nam and Switzerland are celebrating the 53rd anniversary of diplomatic ties. The Ambassador said, relations between Switzerland and Viet Nam have traditionally been very warm and continue to strengthen and deepen.
Switzerland was one of the first Western countries to formally recognize the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in 1971, and relations have developed dynamically, gradually shifting their focus from economic development cooperation to business exchanges between private sector players, which are now in full swing.
Switzerland welcomes the fact that negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, consisting of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Viet Nam are currently gaining new momentum.
Once in force, the agreement will create an improved framework potentially paving the way for increased Swiss direct investment in Viet Nam, and will also boost bilateral trade.
"Viet Nam's foreign policy and economic environment are so dynamic that countries are lining up to upgrade their partnership with Viet Nam, and I would certainly like to see the same happen with Switzerland, so I am devoting all my attention and efforts to this issue", shared the diplomat.
Switzerland's main exports to Viet Nam are pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery and precision engineering, while Viet Nam's main exports to Switzerland are electronic products such as mobile phones, as well as footwear, textiles and maritime products.
Since 2008, Switzerland's economic development cooperation with Viet Nam has focused on areas such as improving public finances, strengthening the financial sector, increasing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, urban planning and climate resilience, and projects to promote sustainable growth.
In the area of academic cooperation, the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) and the Swiss National Science Foundation have a close partnership through which they support outstanding joint Swiss-Vietnamese research projects.
Top Swiss government officials have made several visits to Viet Nam over the past years. The most recent was in June 2023 by the President of the Swiss Parliament, Martin Candinas, and Vietnamese Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue accepted his invitation to visit Switzerland in 2024.
The annual WEF also provides an opportunity for high-level meetings between the authorities of the two countries, and the strong mutual interest is reflected in the regularity of the meetings between Vietnamese and Swiss policymakers that have taken place on the sidelines of the forum over the years, noted the diplomat./.