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Couchepin begins Asian tour

Swiss President Pascal Couchepin has arrived in Vietnam, the first stop on a tour of Asia, which includes visits to China and the Philippines.

On August 8, at the invitation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) whose headquarters are in Lausanne, Couchepin will attend the opening of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

In Vietnam, Couchepin will meet his opposite number, Nguyen Minh Triet, and sign cooperation agreements between Vietnamese universities and Geneva University and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

During his stay in Beijing, Couchepin will attend the official reception given by Chinese President Hu Jintao. He will also meet members of the Swiss Olympic delegation. On Friday, Couchepin will host a reception at the House of Switzerland which will be attended by the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge.

Finally Couchepin will spend August 11-12 in the Philippines which, like Vietnam, is a member of the “Next Eleven”, a group of emerging countries identified by Goldman Sachs as having a high potential for the economic development and growth recently generated by countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.

In Manila, Couchepin will meet President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and also visit the Asian Development Bank and the International Rice Research Institute, supported by Switzerland.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR