PM’s visit expected to foster multifaceted partnership with Sweden

Hanoi (VNA) � Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming visit to Sweden from May 26-28 is hoped to further strengthen the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

Sweden set up diplomatic relations with Vietnam on January 11, 1969, becoming the first Western country to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam.

Over the past 50 years, Sweden has offered great support and assistance to Vietnam during the past struggle for national independence and the present cause of national construction.

Sweden set up its embassy in Hanoi in June 1970, and Vietnam established its embassy in Stockholm a month later. In September 2013, the Trade Office under the Business Sweden officially began operation in Vietnam.

In March 2014, Sweden held the first conference of Swedish ambassadors in Asia in Hanoi, which coincided with the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Sweden diplomatic relations.

In January 2014, the parliament of Sweden ratified the European Union-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

Trade value between the two countries has been on the rise, hitting over 1.8 billion USD in 2018.

Meanwhile, the flow of Swedish investment in Vietnam has risen sharply. By March 2019, Sweden had ranked 33rd out of 131 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 67 valid projects.

Swedish-invested projects have covered seven provinces and cities of Vietnam. Many big firms of Sweden have marked their presence in the country, including Ericsson, ABB, IKEA, Electrolux, Volvo and H&M.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has to date poured investment into two projects in Sweden.

Sweden is the biggest Northwestern European provider of non-refundable aid for Vietnam with total capital of over 3 billion USD since 1967, mostly in health care, economic reform, institutional building, law, administrative reform, human resource development, environment, climate change, and anti-corruption.

Through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Sweden has supported many culture projects in Vietnam. The two countries have signed two deals on culture and communications.

In the field of education-training, Sweden has trained a large number of Vietnamese experts in forestry, paper industry, energy, biotechnology, health care and journalism. Universities of the two nations have shared close collaboration in training and student exchange. Since 2013, Sweden has prioritised Vietnamese students in scholarship granting. In August 2017, Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and Sweden’s Ministry of Education and Research signed an agreement on cooperation in tertiary training and research.

Currently, Vietnam and Sweden are working together for the formation of partnership in research, technological reform, innovation support for startups and small-and-medium-sized enterprises.

Regarding tourism, the total number of Swedish visitors to Vietnam reached 44,045 in 2017 and 49.723 in 2018, up 16.9 percent and 13 percent year on year, respectively.

In agriculture, in 1970, Sweden helped Vietnam build Bai Bang paper factory � one of the biggest and most modern paper plants in the Southeast Asian country. The Swedish-funded programme of forest, tree and people in the 1980s helped develop a material region and boost socio-economic growth in five northern provinces. Sweden has also given many initiatives to support Vietnam in forestry, environment and climate change response.

According to the Statistics Sweden, the Vietnamese community in Sweden groups about 20,000 people who have showed good integration into the local society.-VNA

Source: Vietnam News Agency