|National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân meets her Swedish counterpart, Urban Ahlin, Speaker of the Swedish Parliament (Riskdag) during an official visit to the Scandinavian country at his invitation. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức|
STOCKHOLM– Viet Nam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and Speaker of the Swedish parliament Urban Ahlin agreed to enhance their countries’ parliamentary relations during talks in Stockholm on Thursday.
Chairwoman Ngân was in the city as part of a three-day official visit to Sweden at the invitation of the Riskdag’s Speaker.
At talks following a welcoming ceremony, Ngân said Việt Nam and Sweden enjoy a traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation.
With the help of the European nation, projects such as the Việt Nam National Hospital of Pediatrics in the capital city of Hà Nội, the Việt Nam-Sweden Hospital in Quảng Ninh Province and the Bãi Bằng paper factory in Phú Thọ Province had become symbols of Sweden’s support and the two countries’ amity, she noted.
She congratulated Sweden on its election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2017-2018, voicing her belief that the country will contribute to promote peace, security and adherence to international law.
On the occasion, she requested Sweden support Việt Nam’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
The top Vietnamese legislator also asked Sweden to urge the European Union (EU) to ratify the EU - Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and recognise her country’s market economy status, helping the two countries’ businesses to expand partnerships.
As Sweden has a strong judicial sector, she called on its parliament to share experience in making laws and supervising state agencies’ activities with its Vietnamese counterpart.
For his part, Speaker Urban Ahlin said the official visit by Chairwoman Ngân would open up new prospects for bilateral ties as well as inter-regional and international cooperation. He noted with satisfaction progress in bilateral cooperation, especially in economy, trade, investment, transport and health care. The parliaments’ relations have also improved.
At the talks, the two sides agreed that Việt Nam and Sweden needed to bring their trade and investment relations on par with potential. They hoped that parliamentary connections would be reinforced through increasing supervision and implementation of the two Governments’ cooperation agreements and projects.
The legislatures would support the Vietnamese and Swedish Governments, localities, enterprises and peoples to enhance exchanges, development cooperation and environmental protection.
The early signing and ratification of the EVFTA would benefit all parties involved and help foster trade between Việt Nam and the EU, including Sweden, the officials said.
Ahlin affirmed that he supported the EU’s early signing and ratification of the deal.
On this occasion, they also discussed gender equality, women’s role in society and the fight against corruption.
The Swedish speaker said his country had experience in lawmaking and was ready to share its expertise in supervising state agencies’ activities, building smart cities, protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Also on Thursday, National Assembly Chairwoman Ngân visited the Swedish parliament and attended a banquet hosted by Speaker Ahlin.
Favourable legal environment for Swedish investors
Việt Nam commits to creating a favourable legal environment for Swedish investors, including those from Stockholm, said Chairwoman Ngân during a meeting with Mayor of Stockholm city Eva Louis Erlandsson yesterday.
Highlighting that Stockholm is an economic centre of Sweden and the Scandinavian peninsula, the top legislator of Việt Nam proposed that in the future, Mayor Erlandsson will encourage local firms to strengthen partnerships with Vietnamese localities in economy, trade, investment, culture and tourism.
She reaffirmed Việt Nam’s interest in learning about Sweden’s development experience, including socio-economic matters and issues related to environmental protection and sustainable growth. Ngân suggested that Stockholm build twin relations with Việt Nam’s economic and tourism hubs such as Hà Nội and Hồ Chí Minh City. For her part, Mayor Erlandsson said that along with achievements, Stockholm, a small city with a population of about 1 million people, is facing challenges relating to immigrant workers and housing. From one of the dirtiest cities in Europe 40 years ago, the city was recognised as the first green city of Europe in 2010 with clean water and fresh air, she said, attributing the success to the effective operation and management of water treatment companies.
On the occasion, the Stockholm leaders also shared their experience in restoration and maintenance of architectural works as well as the application of e-government. Mayor Erlandsson said that thanks to awareness raising campaigns, Swedish people are now highly responsible for protecting the environment.
The same day, Ngân also met Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, Crown Princess of Sweden.— VNS