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|Swedish Minister for Foreign Trade Ann Linde (Photo: VNA)|
Linde made the pledge during her meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh in Hanoi on May 8, which took place within the framework of the visit to Vietnam by Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Désiree.
Sweden will also back Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises, while assisting the country in building policies, developing infrastructure, and training personnel to meet the requirements of the fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital economy, she said.
The minister affirmed Sweden’s support to Vietnam at the European Commission (EC) in signing and ratifying the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement.
The Swedish Government and businesses always give deep sentiments and attention to Vietnam, she said.
The two ministers noted with pleasure the development of the bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on issues of shared concern.
Anh said the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will fulfil its role as a bridge between enterprises of the two countries for mutual development, while closely coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies in setting forth development orientations in the spheres of common concern such as energy, supporting industry, retail, and vocational training.
He pointed out, however, that the bilateral trade has yet to match potential of both countries.
In 2018, two-way trade reached only 1.5 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 14.34 percent, of which Vietnam’s exports stood at 1.16 billion USD, up 18.99 percent, and imports hit 345 million USD, up 1.09 percent.
According to the MoIT’s European-American Market Department, in the first quarter of 2019, Vietnam exported 324 million USD worth of goods to Sweden and imported 72 million USD from the country, with total revenue up 4.37 percent against the same period last year.
Sweden now ranks 33rd among 131 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 67 valid projects valued at over 365 million USD.
Currently, the European country is running many business projects in Vietnam, covering various realms like retail, machine manufacturing, electricity, IT and telecommunications, urban transport infrastructure, electronics, food processing, and education-training.
On the occasion, Anh attended the Vietnam-Sweden Business Forum and chaired the Vietnam-Sweden Business Summit.