Nines months as Ambassador of Sweden to Vietnam has provided me with a series of remarkable experiences together with my great team at the Embassy. I have been able to connect to so many ordinary Vietnamese people directly – certainly through many personal visits around the country but also on line, through my blog and through Facebook. And all this should only have been the beginning. Unfortunately, events have moved in another direction.
Sweden is closing its Embassy in Hanoi but we are certainly continuing our diplomatic relations – and will do our utmost to find new ways of moving them forward. The Embassy in Bangkok will be responsible and closely cooperate with Honorary consulates in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
This was confirmed by the Ambassador of Sweden Mr Staffan Herrström at the reception held in Hanoi on June 6th 2011 on the occasion of the National Day of Sweden.
Ambassador Staffan also stressed:
“Swedes live in Vietnam. Swedes visit Vietnam. Swedes cooperate with Vietnamese partners. Swedes invest in Vietnam. Swedish companies trade with Vietnamese companies. And the other way around: Vietnamese people visit Sweden, live in Sweden, bring Vietnamese culture and experiences to our country. All this will continue, grow, develop. And there are instruments available to facilitate.”
He truly believes that the friendship between the Vietnamese and Swedish people, the closeness of our societies despite the long geographical distance, will prevail. Simply because it lives in the hearts of individuals.
On behalf of the government of Vietnam, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Cao Duc Phat expressed the gratitude of the Vietnamese government and people to the Swedish Government and people. He said:
“Sweden has rendered an enormous amount of valuable aid to Viet Nam to rebuild its extremely war-ridden country. Projects like the Swedish Pediatric Hospital, the Uong Bi General Hospital, the Bai Bang pulp and paper Mill together with others constructed with the help of Sweden are vivid symbols of the Viet Nam – Sweden traditional friendship and good cooperation.”