Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on May 27 that Vietnam hopes that Swedish investors and businesses will cooperate with and invest in the Southeast Asian nation.
|Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc (third, left) and Stefan Löfven (third, right) witness the exchange of cooperation documents at the Vietnam-Sweden business forum in Stockholm on May 27|
Vietnam advocates institutional reform and economic restructuring, while also promoting the private sector and deep international integration, the PM told the Vietnam-Sweden business forum in Stockholm, held as part of his ongoing official visit to the European country.
He highlighted the history of their sound bilateral relations, saying that it propelled the two-way to more than 1.5 billion USD.
Sweden ranks 34th among the 130 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 34 projects worth over 35,000 USD, he pointed out, adding that numerous multinational groups from Sweden are operating in Vietnam like ABB, Ericsson, Volvo, and Electrolux.
Besides, young Vietnamese people are familiar with Sweden’s well-known brand names and services like H&M, Spotify, Skype, and IKEA.
He briefed the participants on Vietnam’s economic development in 2018 with GDP growth of 7.1 percent, trade turnover hitting 500 billion USD, including 250 billion USD in exports, and inflation kept under 4 percent.
Vietnam has joined a series of new-generation free trade agreements and is preparing to sign the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA) with the European Union.
PM Phuc expressed his wishes that the government and businesses of Sweden will support the EU’s early signing and ratification of the deal and the EU-Vietnam Investment Promotion Agreement (EVIPA) next month.
According to the PM, the pacts will serve as a firm foundation to promote trade between Vietnam and the EU, and Vietnam and Sweden in particular. Within the framework of the pacts, Vietnamese goods can access the EU distribution chain, and Swedish firms investing in Vietnam will be able to access the ASEAN market.
He hoped that via the forum, the two countries’ businesses would better understand each other towards opportunities for connectivity and cooperation, thus contributing to elevating the Vietnam-Sweden relations to a new height.
Swedish PM Stefan Löfven, for his part, expressed his wish that the EU will sign the EVFTA with Vietnam soon, thereby promoting the competitiveness of both countries.
He spoke highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements over the past two decades.
The Swedish PM said the two countries’ firms are boasting great opportunities for cooperation, and Sweden has invented important solutions in smart city building, 5G technology, public transport solutions, renewable energy and power grid, IT and telecoms, air traffic flow management, waste treatment, and healthcare technology.
Sweden is ready to cooperate with Vietnam, he said, affirming that the government, people and businesses of Sweden want to further tighten relations with Vietnam over the next 50 years.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam - Sweden diplomatic ties.
Also at the forum, the two PMs witness the signing of several cooperation documents between enterprises of Vietnam and Sweden, especially a tripartite cooperation project between Vietnam’s NutiFood and Sweden’s Backahill and the cooperative of milch cow raising farms Skånemejerier Ekonomisk Förening with the official operation of the dairy mill NutiFood Sweden AB.
Vietnam welcomes Swedish investment: PM
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre) visits pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca during his trip to the northern European country.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on May 27 pledged further favourable conditions for Swedish enterprises, including pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, to land long-term investment in Vietnam for sustainable development.
He made the statement while visiting AstraZeneca as part of the activities of his official visit to the northern European country, during which PM Phuc expressed his delight at the steady growth of the bilateral corporation and Sweden’s contributions to the development of Vietnam.
AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson said that it is his company’s honour to contribute to the Vietnam-Sweden relations, stressing AstraZeneca would never be successful in Vietnam without support from Vietnamese Government, competent ministries and sectors.
On the occasion, Johansson announced a 5 trillion VND (220 million USD) investment in Vietnam, aiming to improve the health care for local people.
PM Phuc said that as Vietnam is developing its public health strategy, the country needs assistance from international partners, including AstraZeneca. He described the Swedish firm’s plan as a move to boost the collaborative ties in a more practical and effective manner.
According to Swedish Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan, Swedish firms see Vietnam have huge potential in various sectors. Particularly, through pharmaceutical cooperation, Swedish companies will help better the health care for the Vietnamese people.
AstraZeneca opened its representative office in Vietnam in 1994. The corporation has been accompanying the Vietnamese Government in the national strategy on prevention of non-communicable diseases during 2015-2025, and the Vietnam healthcare programme. It has invested tens of millions of USD in R&D activities in the country as well as helped Vietnamese patients access advanced healthcare measures to cure cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, among others.
Swedish firms look to expand operations in Vietnam
Several leading Swedish businesses expressed their intention to expand investment in Vietnam, during a meeting with visiting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Stockholm on May 27.
Most of the participating companies, including Electrolux, Oriflame, Scania, ABB, Ericsson, and Volvo, have already been investing in Vietnam for many years.
In his speech, PM Phuc highly valued the Swedish firms’ prestige in the global market, including Vietnam.
The Swedish government and people have always been a good friend to the country, giving enormous assistance to the Vietnamese people during the fight for national independence in the past, as well as national development at present, the PM noted.
He expressed his hope that Swedish businesses will continue investing and applying new, cutting-edge technologies in Vietnam, as well as further taking part in local socio-economic development.
At the meeting, CEO of Business Sweden Ylva Berg thanked the PM and relevant agencies of the Vietnamese Government for helping to successfully organise the recent visit by Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree. She said she believes that the official visit to her country by PM Phuc will create a new milestone in the promotion of bilateral economic, trade, and investment ties.
Leaders of Swedish companies shared the hope that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be signed soon, thereby facilitating Swedish trade with Vietnam.
Jonas Samuelson, CEO of home appliance manufacturer Electrolux, said the Vietnamese market generates 15 million USD in annual revenue and is the most important market of his company in Southeast Asia.
Hakan Buskhe, CEO of defence and security solution provider Saab, said his group invests 25 percent of its revenue in research and development every year. It has had cooperation activities in terms of air space and seaport management, and it is ready to transfer technologies to Vietnamese partners.
Meanwhile, Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President of telecom giant Ericsson, noted that the group has invested in Vietnam since 1993 and cooperated well with Vietnamese telecom service providers.
The group is working to set up a coordination mechanism for providing 5G infrastructure in Vietnam, and wishes to contribute more to the country’s innovation process through software and technological solutions, he added.
Johan Soderstrom, Managing Director of ABB Sweden that has been operating in the Southeast Asian nation since 1998, spoke highly of the Vietnamese market’s potential. He expressed a strong commitment to bolstering cooperation with Vietnam, especially in developing the power grid network.
Welcoming the companies’ plans, PM Phuc affirmed that authorised agencies of Vietnam will provide the best possible support for Swedish businesses to expand investment. He also promised to directly listen to their opinions and remove obstacles so that major companies of Sweden can help bring advanced technologies to Vietnam.
As a gateway of ASEAN markets and with many new-generation free trade agreements already or about to be signed, Vietnam is an open market for Swedish enterprises, the PM added.
Vietnam and Sweden are commemorating 50 years of the diplomatic relations this year with a series of milestones made over the past five decades.