|Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên meets Swedish Ambassador Ann Måwe. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt|
HÀ NỘI — Sweden is an important Northern European market of Việt Nam, and there remains much potential for the two countries to continue expanding bilateral trade, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên told Swedish Ambassador to Việt Nam Ann Måwe on Tuesday.
At their meeting in Hà Nội, Diên said the export structures of Việt Nam and Sweden do not compete with but are complementary to each other, which is a favourable condition for their businesses to enhance partnerships and diversify supply chains, particularly of the commodities matching each country’s strength and the other’s demand such as apparel, footwear, wood products, tropical farm produce, and aquatic products of Việt Nam and chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper products, electronic devices, and machinery of Sweden.
Sweden is a high-income country with strong purchasing power, as seen in Việt Nam’s exports to the European nation exceeding US$1 billion annually.
He held that global difficulties and challenges require the two countries to cooperate more strongly and effectively, especially in trade and investment, to respond and improve each economy’s resilience jointly.
In particular, Diên said the two should capitalise on the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
Måwe noted Sweden, which takes the lead in innovation and sustainable development in Northern Europe, always hopes to strengthen ties with Việt Nam in energy and sustainable development.
She introduced Ericsson and Hitachi Energy, two major energy firms in Sweden, and the prospect of these companies’ supply of energy transition solutions for Việt Nam.
The ambassador also informed her host that Swedfund, a development financier of the Swedish Government, is willing to help Việt Nam and the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) group receive sponsorship for researching and developing smart grids.
Diên said implementing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) agreement is one of the important solutions for the energy transition in Việt Nam.
However, information about a funding package worth over $15.5 billion from developed countries for Việt Nam to shift from coal-fired power generation to clean energy remains unclear. Meanwhile, it needs a detailed roadmap and mechanisms to realise ideas and translate commitments into action to implement the JETP successfully.
Việt Nam hopes that developed countries, including the EU and Sweden, will work out concrete funding packages to assist with its energy transition and soon issue a roadmap and necessary mechanisms to disburse and effectively use the sponsorship, the minister went on.
As the two countries will mark the 55th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2024, the two officials also expressed their hope that the countries will hold high-level mutual visits and other activities to bolster trade, industry, and energy ties.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, bilateral trade approximated $1.62 billion in 2022, up 6.3 per cent year on year. That comprised $1.26 billion worth of Việt Nam’s exports and $353 million worth of imports, respectively, up 5.4 per cent and 9.9 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2023, due to escalating inflation, global recession risks, and lower demand in the EU, the trade turnover fell 16.8 per cent from a year earlier to $331 million, including $253 million worth of Việt Nam’s exports and $78 million worth of imports, respectively, down 16.5 per cent and 17.9 per cent.
As of the end of March, Sweden had 103 valid investment projects worth over $680 million in Việt Nam, ranking 29th among 143 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation. — VNS