Ceremony marks 50 years of Vietnam – Sweden diplomatic ties hinh anh 1Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) and Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry and the Swedish Embassy held a ceremony in Hanoi on January 11 marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam – Sweden diplomatic ties

Speaking at the event, Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son highlighted that Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam on January 11, 1969. Over the past five decades, the European country has provided 3.4 billion USD in non-refundable aid for Vietnam with symbolic works such as the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, the Uong Bi Hospital in the northern province of Quang Ninh and the Bai Bang paper mill in the northern province of Phu Tho, contributing to the country’s socio-economic development. 

He said bilateral partnership is gearing towards trade-investment, education-training, health care, science-technology and tourism. Two-way trade surpassed 1.4 billion USD in 2018. Sweden ranked 34th out of the 130 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. About 50,000 Sweden tourists visited Vietnam during the year. 

Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg, for his part, recalled that 50 years ago, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme and people joined street parades demanding an end to the war in Vietnam. 

Sweden became one of the largest donors to Vietnam during 1970-1990, he said, adding that the European country is always a trustworthy partner and will continue partnering with Vietnam in the future. 

According to the diplomat, the upcoming signing of the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will open up prospects for trade and investment growth, contributing to facilitating trade liberalisation and multilateral order in the world. 

Both sides will continue their close coordination at international forums to jointly deal with regional and global issues of shared concern, he said. 

The ambassador expressed his belief that a series of activities during 2019 will strengthen bilateral friendship and mutual understanding between both sides. 

At the event, former Vietnamese ambassadors in Sweden and Swedish ambassadors in Vietnam, officials and experts in health care, education and forestry recalled the past memories of their joint work.-VNA