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Swedish Crown Princess’s visit to promote traditional friendship with Vietnam

The official visit to Vietnam by Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Désiree and her spouse from May 6-8 is expected to foster the traditional friendship between the two countries.

The visit is being made at the invitation of Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations (1969-2019), illustrating Vietnam’s appreciation of the role of the Swedish Royal Family and development of the long-standing friendly relations with the European country.

Sweden became the first western country to recognise and establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam on January 11, 1969, at a time when Vietnam was fighting for national independence and reunification.

Sweden was also the first western country to launch the strongest and earliest movements supporting Vietnam’s resistance war against the US from August 1966.

In June 1970, Sweden opened its embassy in Hanoi and one month later, Vietnam opened its embassy in Stockholm, marking an important milestone in the bilateral relations, affirming the closeness and solidarity between the governments and people of the two countries.

Sweden also took 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; as well as actively supporting Vietnam to set up relations with international monetary and financial organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).

In January 2014, the Swedish parliament ratified the Vietnam-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

In the field of development cooperation, Sweden has been the largest provider of non-refundable aids for Vietnam among north-western European countries (starting from 1967) with a total amount of over 3.5 billion USD, focusing on on healthcare, economic reform, institutional building, administrative reform, laws, human resources development, environment and climate change, anti-corruption, and rule-of-law state building.

Over the past five decades, the bilateral traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation have been reinforced and developed across such fields as economy, trade, investment, energy, environment, culture, and education-training.

In 2018, two-way trade surpassed 1.4 billion USD. Vietnam mainly exports farm produce, footwear, garment-textiles, timber products, and mobile phones and components to Sweden, while importing machinery and components for the industrial and telecommunication sectors from the European country.

The flow of Swedish investment into Vietnam has surged in recent times. Sweden now ranks 34th out of 130 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

The Swedish projects have been being carried out in seven cities and provinces in Vietnam, namely Hanoi, Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Vinh Phuc, Da Nang, and Hung Yen.

Vietnam and Sweden have signed a number of cooperation agreements in various realms, such as general principles for bilateral cooperation, double taxation avoidance, investment protection and encouragement, culture, science-technology, and aviation transport.