Sweden and Vietnam: Innovation and sustainable development

Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe: Innovation and sustainable development will be the pillars of bilateral cooperation between Sweden and Vietnam

Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe

On the occasion of the new year 2023, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe made some comments on the situation of economic – trade relations between Sweden and Vietnam in an interview with Vietnam’s Industry and Trade newspaper.

Trade and investment relations between the two countries continued to achieve important achievements in 2022, said Ms. Ann Måwe. If in the past, Sweden’s trade with Vietnam was only associated with mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, household appliances, and environmental technology, but now, this has been expanded in many other fields based on the common potentials and interests between the two countries.

This can be demonstrated through some specific examples: At the COP26 Conference in Glasgow (2021), AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Group announced a commitment to a new investment to help Vietnam improve its pharmaceutical production capacity, bringing the total investment in Vietnam to 308 million USD for the period 2020 – 2024. Telecom giant Ericsson continued to have a strong commitment to building 5G telecommunications infrastructure for Vietnam. ABB Company inaugurated a new robot and power transmission equipment manufacturing center in Bac Ninh province. Tetra Pak announced an additional investment of 5 million euros in a 120 million euro packaging factory in Binh Duong province.

Glove manufacturer Hestra has just opened a new factory in Hai Phong City with the expectation of exporting more gloves to the EU thanks to the benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). After the Covid-19 pandemic, many Swedish small, medium enterprises and startups companies as well quickly deployed operations in Vietnam, especially in the fields of storage battery production, edtech (educational technology) or fintech (financial technology)…

Assessing the impact of the EVFTA on trade and investment relations between Sweden and Vietnam, Ms. Ann Måwe said that the EVFTA has created opportunities for Swedish enterprises to expand production in Vietnam and export to the EU more easily. Not only does it help Swedish and European businesses in general, the EVFTA also makes Vietnam a driving force for the strong recovery of the (South East Asia) region, this was shown by Vietnam’s GDP growth rate of 8% in 2022.

However, Ms. Ann Måwe believes that a number of administrative challenges and other trade barriers may affect the operation of foreign enterprises in Vietnam. On the basis of the commitments of the EVFTA, Sweden and Vietnam need to promote dialogue channels to gradually remove the above barriers, thereby creating more favourable conditions for Swedish businesses to invest and do business in Vietnam.

Regarding the prospect of economic and trade cooperation between Sweden and Vietnam in 2023, the Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam said that innovation and sustainable development will be the pillars of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The two main areas which the Swedish government and companies are most interested in are aviation and smart, green energy solutions.

Vietnam’s aviation industry is booming with new and upgraded airports, including Long Thanh International Airport. Meanwhile, Sweden has an advanced aviation system and has solutions to help solve problems of sustainable development. In the coming time, Sweden will regularly exchange information and propose solutions with the Vietnam Aircraft Management Corporation (VATM) and the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to help develop the Vietnam’s aviation industry.

In terms of energy, Sweden has companies that can provide solutions to help upgrade and automate Vietnam’s national electricity system. Besides, renewable energy production is also a strong point of many Swedish companies. In the near future, we will actively coordinate with the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and the National Power Transmission Corporation (EVN-NPT) to contribute to the overall development of Vietnam’s energy industry.

In addition, the Swedish Embassy in Vietnam also wishes to coordinate with Vietnamese authorities, including the Vietnamese Embassy in Sweden, to promote import and export activities between the two countries, improve market research, support Swedish businesses to penetrate the market, access land fund, expand production and invest in Vietnam.

Source: Vietnam’s Industry and Trade newspaper.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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