Vietnam – Sweden: From Development Assistance to Equal Cooperation for Mutual Benefit

2:27:06 PM | 1/14/2019

The 50-year path of Vietnam - Sweden cooperation has recorded many important milestones in the bilateral relationship, opening up a future of substantial and effective cooperation.

As the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam (January 11th 1969), during the past 50 years, Sweden has provided a lot of material and spiritual support to Vietnam in the process of fighting for national independence and national construction.

The most outstanding feature in the history of bilateral relations is the generous assistance that the country and the Swedish people had for Vietnam during the war, for peace and independence of Vietnam. Along with very practical material aid, many compassionate, sympathetic, and enthusiastic Swedish friends spoke out loud for Vietnam and traveled to remote areas of Vietnam to help build factories, hospitals and help reduce poverty.
After half a century of cooperation, the relationship between the two countries has now entered a new period, shifting from development assistance to equal partnership of mutual benefit.

The two countries have witnessed positive development in trade and investment. Many Swedish corporations have become increasingly interested in Vietnam's dynamic market. Vietnam's export turnover to Sweden has grown steadily, reaching about US$1 billion in 2017, not a small number in relation to the Swedish market of only 10 million people.

To serve its booming economic development and catch up with the new industrial revolution, Vietnam is looking to establish cooperation with and acquire experience from world leading technology corporations including those from Sweden such as Ericsson, ABB, Electrolux, IKEA, Husqvarna, H&M, Tetra pak and many others. Besides, Vietnam also needs to acquire Sweden’s expertise in operating the economy.

With the efforts of the parties, Vietnam – Europe Free Trade Agreement ( EVFTA) will soon be signed and ratified, paving the way for further consolidated trade between the two countries.

Besides, the tourism cooperation has also recorded development with more than 44,000 Swedish visitors coming to Vietnam in 2017. Vietnam has applied unilateral visa exemption for Swedish citizens to Vietnam, and opened weekly charter flights from Stockholm to Phu Quoc.

50 years of Vietnam - Sweden diplomatic relations will be an important milestone for the two countries to look back at their developing bilateral relations. Vietnam appreciates the great contributions that Sweden has made to Vietnam in the past half century. At the same time, this is also an opportunity to create momentum to strongly promote the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries through visits, specific and substantial cooperation, towards the establishment of Sectoral Strategic Partnerships in education-training, life science, health and the environment.