Vietnam, Sweden to establish sectoral strategic partnerships hinh anh 1Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (Source: VNA)

 Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Sweden have agreed to accelerate the establishment of sectoral strategic partnerships in education-training, life science, health and environment.

The consensus was reached by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström during their talks in Hanoi on November 23.

The two officials also consented to increase the exchange of delegations, especially high-level ones, while continuing close coordination between Vietnam and Sweden at regional and international forums.

Minh proposed specific measures to step up bilateral cooperation in key spheres including politics-diplomacy, trade-investment, education-training, science-technology, and national defence-security.

He called on Sweden to speed up the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), to pour more investments in Vietnam, transfer cutting-edge technologies to the country and share its management experience in areas of its strength.

Vietnam wants to learn from Sweden’s experience in promoting innovation and start-up, he said, urging the Swedish government to grant more scholarships to Vietnamese students and create the best possible conditions for them to study in the European country.

Minh also asked Sweden to share its experience in developing Triple Helix model, under which the government, training establishments and enterprises work together closely in human resource development, and to assist Vietnam in completing its legal system and judicial reform.

The Deputy PM took this occasion to thank Sweden for its material assistance and spiritual support to Vietnam during the past struggle for national liberation as well as the current cause of national development.

Wallström praised Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration achievements, especially the country’s successful hosting of the APEC Year 2017.

Sweden wants to further develop the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam, she affirmed.

On this occasion, the two ministers discussed regional and international matters of mutual concern, including the situation in the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the East Sea issue.

Sweden is Vietnam’s important economic partner in Northern Europe with annual two-way trade revenue exceeding 1.2 billion USD. In the first nine months of this year, the figure stood at more than 1 billion USD, up 16 percent year-on-year.-VNA