Vietnam and Sweden boast time-honoured friendship and multi-faceted cooperation, founded by then President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Olof Palme and nurtured by the two peoples over the last five decades.
Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam, she stressed, adding that Vietnam has not forgotten the image of thousands of Swedish people streaming down the streets to protest against the war in Vietnam.
Chairwoman Ngan thanked the Swedish Royal Family, government, and people for giving precious support to Vietnam, especially in non-refundable aid totaling over US$ 3 billion. She also appreciated the European nation’s assistance to the Southeast Asian country in boosting relations with international financial and monetary organisations in the past, and steps towards global integration at present.
Crown Princess Victoria voiced her delight at the sound development of bilateral connections, noting that it is her first visit to Vietnam. The delegation of 50 Swedish firms wish to discuss not only business partnerships but also sustainable development – an issue of shared concern.
Chairwoman Ngan highlighted that Sweden is an important and trustworthy partner of Vietnam in the European Union, with bilateral trade reaching US$ 1.5 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, Sweden now has 67 investment projects worth US$ 364 million in Vietnam.
These figures remain modest and have yet to match the full potential of cooperation, she said, noting her hope that the businesses accompanying the Princess during this visit will have opportunities to learn about the local investment-business climate.
The NA leader said she believes once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is signed and ratified, bilateral trade will increase even more.
The host also affirmed that Vietnam is reforming its legal and administrative systems so as to create a solid legal framework and fair environment for foreign businesses, including Swedish firms, to operate.
At the meeting, members of the Swedish delegation noted more than 50,000 tourists from their country came to Vietnam last year, and Swedish companies have created more than 120,000 jobs here. They also said Sweden treasures its cooperation with Vietnam – a country with important standing in ASEAN.
Vietnam is ready to serve as a bridge between Sweden and ASEAN, Chairwoman Ngan affirmed, also asking Sweden, with its experience, to assist her country in coping with rising sea levels and other environmental protection issues.