The seminar in Hanoi on June 2 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A seminar took place in Hanoi on June 2 to gain an insight into late Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme’s legacy in the relationship between Sweden and Vietnam.

The function was held by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and the Swedish Embassy on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Olof Palme’s passing, and 47 years of bilateral ties.

Nguyen Tat Giap, Deputy Director of the academy, said Vietnamese – Swedish relations were established by the countries’ prominent leaders and diplomats and are full of peace-loving spirit, solidarity, cooperation and mutual support.

Sweden was the first western nation to set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam, and their cooperation has been increasingly expanded in all aspects, from economy, politics and security to education and culture, he noted.

He added that not only was late PM Olof Palme a great friend of Vietnam, but he also fought tirelessly for peace, national independence and equal cooperation among nations in the world.

At the seminar, participants analysed the life, ideology and career of Olof Palme (1927 – 1986), who served as Swedish PM from 1969 – 1976 and again from 1982 – 1986. He was strongly opposed to injustice around the globe and was beloved by people in Sweden as well as from other countries, including Vietnam.

Olof Palme was assassinated on Sveavagen street in central Stockholm in 1986. His death was a big loss to peace lovers around the world.

Vietnamese former Deputy PM Vu Khoan said Sweden was the first western country to provide non-refundable aid for Vietnam. That support was invaluable since it was given amidst the peak of the resistance war in Vietnam.

Sweden’s assistance for Vietnam is not only through money, according to economist Pham Chi Lan, former Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

While Vietnam is transitioning to a market economy, specialists from the European nation have offered advice on mindset changing, market access, and economic reform and restructuring.

Sweden is truly the biggest friend of Vietnam. The images of Olof Palme and his country are always in the heart of the Vietnamese people, Lan added.

Pierre Schori, special envoy of the Swedish PM, said Olof Palme laid a solid foundation for the unique relationship between the two countries. Some outstanding facilities that his nation has helped Vietnam build include the National Hospital of Pediatrics, the Vietnam – Sweden Hospital and the Bai Bang Paper Factory.

Sweden will foster all-faceted cooperation with Vietnam in line with local people’s demand and global development, he noted.-VNA