Further deepening Vietnam – Sweden traditional friendship

Sunday, 2019-05-26 14:49:23
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) receives Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Désiree during her visit to Vietnam in early May. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO – At the invitation of Swedish Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse, are leading a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam on an official visit to Sweden from May 26-28.

Taking place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, the Vietnamese Government leader’s visit is an important political event, contributing to enhancing Vietnam Sweden traditional friendship.

With a knowledge-based economy towards high-end technology and a comprehensive social welfare system, Sweden is one of the countries with the highest living standards in the world as well as leading in research, application and use of green and clean technology, energy saving and renewable energy. Sweden ranks second in the world for their quality education system. The country is making efforts to strengthen its trade cooperation in emerging markets, including Vietnam, as well as accelerate the negotiation process of free trade agreements (FTAs) with the US and several other nations to complement the shortage of domestic markets and the EU region.

Sweden has made the most extensive amendments of constitution since 1974, aiming to create more legal basis for the European unification. Regarding policies for development cooperation, the main goal of Sweden's development cooperation projects is to improve people’s lives; therefore, many projects have focused on hunger eradication and poverty reduction.

Sweden was the first Western European nation to set up relations with Vietnam in 1969. Sweden was also a Western country that launched the strongest and earliest movement to support Vietnam’s resistance war against the US since August 1966. The National Liberation Front of South Vietnam formed its information office in the capital of Stockholm.

We are pleased to see that the long-standing friendship between Vietnam and Sweden is constantly consolidating and strengthening. The fine relationship has been marked by high-level visits and exchanges, including the most recent official visit to Sweden by Chairwoman of National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in Apri 2017 and the visit by Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Désiree to Vietnam in early May.

Sweden is also a Western country taking the lead in assisting Vietnam in the reform process right from its very first years in the fields of economic reform, finance, banking, economic management, administrative reform and law. The country has actively supported Vietnam to establish relations with international financial and monetary institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).

In addition to the development of economic development, the trade relations between the two countries has grown. Two-way trade revenue reached US$1.8 billion in 2018. Sweden's investment in Vietnam has increased sharply in recent years. As of the end of March 2019, Sweden ranked 33rd out of 131 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 67 valid projects and a total registered capital of US$364 million. Vietnam also has two investment projects in Sweden with a total investment capital of nearly US$700,000. In terms of development cooperation Sweden is a Nordic country with the largest non-refundable aid provider to Vietnam (since 1967) with a total aid of US$3.4 billion.

Cooperation in the fields of culture, education, science, technology, industry, agriculture and rural development and tourism has also been increasingly developed. Sweden is one of the nations that provide the most effective developmental aid for the cultural sector of Vietnam with projects in preserving and promoting cultural heritages as well as improving skills related to radio, television and newspapers. Vietnam welcomed nearly 50,000 Swedish visitors in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 13%. The Vietnamese community in Sweden has around 20,000 members, integrating very well into the host country.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Sweden aims to further deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries in the new current situation, strongly boosting the economic, trade and investment cooperation. May PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Sweden be a success, contributing to tightening the bilateral friendship.

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