Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân welcomes Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree, who is on an official visit to Việt Nam, in Hà Nội on Monday.—VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân met with Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree, who is on an official visit to Việt Nam, in Hà Nội on Monday.
The host welcomed the Crown Princess, her spouse and the Swedish delegation who are visiting Việt Nam to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties. She expressed her belief the trip will intensify traditional relations.
Việt Nam and Sweden boast time-honoured friendship, founded by then President Hồ Chí Minh and Prime Minister Olof Palme and nurtured by the two peoples over the past five decades.
Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with Việt Nam, she stressed, adding that Việt Nam had not forgotten the image of thousands of Swedish people taking to the streets to protest the American War in Việt Nam.
Chairwoman Ngân thanked the Swedish Royal Family, government and people for supporting Việt Nam, especially via non-refundable aid totalling more than US$3 billion. She also appreciated the European nation’s assistance in boosting relations with international financial and monetary organisations.
Crown Princess Victoria voiced her delight at the development of bilateral connections, noting it was her first visit to Việt Nam. The delegation of 50 Swedish firms wishes to discuss not only business partnerships but also sustainable development, she said.
Chairwoman Ngân noted that Sweden is an important partner of Việt Nam in the EU, with bilateral trade reaching $1.5 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, Sweden now has 67 investment projects worth $364 million in Việt Nam.
These figures remained modest and had yet to match the full potential of co-operation, she said, noting her hope that the businesses accompanying the Princess would have opportunities to learn about the local investment-business climate.
The NA leader said she believed once the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is signed and ratified, bilateral trade would increase.
The host also affirmed that Việt Nam was reforming its legal and administrative systems to create a solid legal framework and fair environment for foreign businesses, including Swedish firms, to operate.
At the meeting, members of the Swedish delegation noted more than 50,000 tourists from their country came to Việt Nam last year, and Swedish companies have created more than 120,000 jobs here. They also said Sweden treasured its co-operation with Việt Nam – a country with important standing in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Việt Nam was ready to serve as a bridge between Sweden and ASEAN, Chairwoman Ngân affirmed, also asking Sweden to assist her country in coping with rising sea levels and other environmental protection issues.
Meeting the Vice President
On the same day, Vice President Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh and the Crown Princess discussed measures to step up co-operation between Việt Nam and Sweden during their meeting.
Vice President Thịnh said the visit was an important event in an array of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (1969-2019).
Host and guest reviewed bilateral co-operation and agreed that it has expanded beyond politics-diplomacy and trade-investment to culture-education, bringing benefits to their people. They asserted their determination to develop it.
Thịnh suggested the two sides continue to maintain the exchange of high-level visits to help drive bilateral co-operation in various fields.
She relayed the regards and invitation to visit Việt Nam from Party General Secretary, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng to the King and Queen of Sweden.
Crown Princess Victoria spoke highly of Việt Nam’s socio-economic development and international integration achievements, affirming that Sweden places importance on developing its ties with Việt Nam.
The two sides agreed to work together to help their businesses to seek more investment and business partnerships, especially in the processing and support industries, science-technology, education-training, healthcare, environment, smart urban construction and information-communications.
Thịnh asked Sweden to continue supporting the settlement of disputes by peaceful means based on international law to maintain peace, security and navigation freedom and safety in the East Sea.
She also asked Sweden to back Việt Nam’s run for a non-permanent member seat at the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 term.
She proposed Sweden continue providing favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, do business and integrate into the host society.
Late on the day, Vice President Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh and her spouse hosted a banquet for Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Désiree and her spouse and entourage. — VNS