08:34 | 13/03/2019 MUTRAP Corner
(VEN) - After half a century of cooperation, the relationship between Vietnam and Sweden has entered a new period, shifting from development assistance to an equal partnership of mutual benefit in trade and investment.
Sharing his views on the prospects of future economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg said bilateral relations are expanding and becoming more balanced especially in trade and investment.
Ambassador Pereric Hogberg said he expected the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would create opportunities for the two countries to increase bilateral trade and investment, contributing to promoting trade liberalization and multilateral world order. He forecast that the presence of Swedish companies in Vietnam would increase. The agreement is also expected to help Swedish consumers better understand the working conditions of Vietnamese workers involved in manufacturing products for export to Sweden, and to create a mechanism for bilateral dialogue on environmental protection.
“The Swedish government is committed to maintaining long-term assistance for Vietnam’s economic development by increasing bilateral trade, exchange of business solutions and experience sharing,” Ambassador Pereric Hogberg said.
General Department of Vietnam Customs data show that in 2018, trade between Vietnam and Sweden reached more than US$1.5 billion, 15 percent higher than in 2017. This included US$1.16 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to Sweden, up 19 percent compared with 2017, and US$345 million worth of imports from this market, up 0.9 percent. These results yielded a trade surplus of more than US$810 million for Vietnam, up 28.7 percent. Vietnam has moved ahead to 24th place among the 30 major exporters to Sweden, surpassing the Republic of Korea, India, Hong Kong (China), Thailand and other ASEAN countries.
Sweden currently ranks 34th among 130 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Many multinational Swedish groups, such as ABB, Ericsson, Volvo, Tetra Pak and Electrolux, operate in Vietnam and Swedish companies recently showed great interest in the Southeast Asian consumer goods market. The world-leading H&M fashion firm and the large furniture retailer IKEA have also set up shop in Vietnam, generating more than 100,000 new jobs.
The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Sweden. Various events are planned to mark the occasion, including the exchange of visits at different levels, a Vietnam-Sweden business forum in Hanoi, an ASEAN business forum in Sweden, and Vietnamese Days in Sweden. Ambassador Hogberg believes these activities will contribute to strengthening the bilateral friendship and mutual understanding.