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Jun 13, 2022 / 04:53

Vietnam seeks Sweden expertise in digital transformation, climate adaptation

Sweden said the bilateral relations cover not only political and economic ties but also stance on foreign policies.

Digital transformation and climate adaptation are among the experiences that Vietnam wishes to learn from Sweden to serve the Southeast Asian country’s low-carbon paths. Such was one of the outcomes of  the visit by Swedish Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Robert Rydberg to Vietnam this week.

 Swedish Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Robert Rydberg. Photo: Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi

Vietnam is increasingly interested in digital transformation and climate adaptation and expects to expand its cooperation with Sweden’s institutes and agencies in the fields, according to Dr. Pham Lan Dung, Acting Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), Hanoi.    

The fields are the main topics of the academy’s research and consultations, Dung said at the talks held in DAV on June 10 with the attendance of Robert Rydberg.

On the issue, the Swedish diplomat shared with DAV students his country’s experiences in climate adaptation and innovation, saying that the green transition opens opportunities to enhance bilateral relations.

He said Sweden hails Vietnam’s goals on climate response and economic restructuring put forth by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), calling them “ambitious and brave.”

Despite challenges, he believed that the two countries would make the goals possible together by sharing ideas, solutions, and business models. Swedish businesses regard Vietnam as an important market in the global supply chain, he added.

 Talks held at diplomatic academy in Hanoi. Photo: Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi

Vietnam – important partner

In a press conference after the meeting in DAV, Rydberg talked about Stockholm’s stance on joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), saying its application for the group's membership is necessary for the changing security in Europe.

He said Sweden needs to adapt to changes to protect the country’s sovereignty and freedom in the long run.

He also affirmed that the admission to NATO would cause no effect on Sweden’s universal and self-reliant diplomacy, especially with traditional and important partners like Vietnam.

Robert Rydberg said: “With our historic ties, Vietnam is a good friend and an important partner for Sweden within the ASEAN region.”

He highlighted that both countries treasure their strong and valuable history when they engage in international integration. The bilateral relations are not based only on firm political and economic ties but also on stance on foreign policies.

 Swedish Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Robert Rydberg and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi. Photo: Baoquocte

During the three-day visit that concluded on June 11, the two countries agreed to continue maintaining collaboration in multilateral forums and supporting each other in running for positions in the United Nations bodies and regional frameworks like ASEAN, the European Union (EU), and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concerns in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the South China Sea, and the Mekong Sub-region.

Both sides highlighted continuing cooperation in digital transformation, innovation, climate response, circular economy, manpower training, science-technology, energy, education and training, and efforts to make full use of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

In a meeting with Rydberg, Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said Vietnam treasures valuable support from the Government and people of Sweden during the wartime and current development process.

At the talks in DAV, Dr. Pham Lan Dung recalled the people of Sweden’s assistance to Vietnam during different periods of time, saying "a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

In 1969, Sweden became the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Over the past 53 years, Sweden and Vietnam have been friends and partners, even in the most difficult times.

 Swedish Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Robert Rydberg and Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc. Photo: Quang Hoa