A programme to celebrate the 45 th anniversary of Vietnam-Sweden diplomatic ties opened in Hanoi on January 21.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Camilla Mellander affirmed that Vietnam and Sweden are reliable partners in politics, economics, culture and education, bringing benefits to both nations.

The two countries have identified economics and trade as the focus of their bilateral relations, with priorities having been given to the health service, clean technology, information technology and transport, the diplomat said.

She added Sweden considers Vietnam, an ASEAN-EU coordinator, one of its important partners in ASEAN.

Two-way trade between the two countries exceeded one billion USD in 2013, she said, adding that over 60 Swedish companies have set up representative offices in Vietnam.

Le Linh Lan, Deputy Director of the European Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Sweden is the first Western country to provide and maintain official development assistance to Vietnam since 1967. The Swedish government has so far supplied 3.4 billion USD in non-refundable aid to the Southeast Asian country, she added.

To mark the two countries’ diplomatic ties this year, the Swedish Embassy plans to organise at least one event every month. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Embassy in Sweden is preparing for activities introducing Vietnam to the European country.-VNA