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Sweden to expand ODA to Vietnam’s non-State sectors

Hanoi (VNA) – Sweden ’s support for civil society and other non-State sectors will act as an important complement to its cooperation with various Vietnamese government agencies during the 2009-2013 period, said an official from the Swedish Embassy in Vietnam .

Marie Ottosson, Minister and Head of the Embassy’s Development Cooperation Section made this announcement during a press briefing on Jan. 9 to unveil a programme to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Sweden which falls on Jan. 11, 2009.

According to Ottosson , Sweden has extended to Vietnam the opportunity to access its system of loans and guarantees, however, the proposal of a new credit and guarantee system for Vietnam is still awaiting the approval of the Swedish Government.

This can be viewed as a responsible way for Sweden to phase out its traditional forms of development cooperation, which are primarily based on the provision of ODA, Ottosson said, explaining that, as Vietnam is now approaching middle-income status, Sweden plans to shift the focus of its financial assistance to the world’s poorest nations, mainly in southern Africa .
She added that the two countries’ relations in the future would be based on “partner-driven cooperation”.

A new cooperation strategy for the 2009-2013 period, which is expected to be approved by the Swedish Government early in 2009, will focus on areas of priority, including anti-corruption measures and the fight against environmental and climate change.

Gender equality and female participation in all areas of life should be considered and integrated in all future interventions as well as in any dialogue.

Sweden is the first European country to have established diplomatic ties with Vietnam and has been continually listed among the top northern European providers of ODA to Vietnam ever since.

Since 1969, Sweden has provided a total of 3 billion USD in aid to Vietnam . The European country has helped Vietnam to develop a number of large-scale infrastructure projects, including the Central Paediatrics Hospital , the Bai Bang Paper Plant and the Uong Bi Polyclinics.

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