Vietnam's post-pandemic economic recovery and GDP growth impressive: Norwegian Ambassador

Friday, 27/01/2023 15:29
(CPV) - Expressing her impression of Vietnam's economic achievements in 2022, Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam Ms. Hilde Solbakken assessed that Vietnam's rapid economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and GDP growth have impressed the international community.
Ambassador Hilde Solbakken

On the occasion of the New Year 2023, Ambassador Hilde Solbakken granted an interview to the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper.

Reporter: Could you please share some feelings about taking the position of Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam?

Ambassador Hilde Solbakken: I am honored to be Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam. Vietnam is a dynamic economy, while Norway and Vietnam have many common priorities related to oceans, climate change, as well as energy transition and green economy, so there is great potential for cooperation.

One of the great “advantages” of the diplomatic profession is to experience different cultures and traditions. I am very excited and look forward to the opportunity in the next 4 years to learn more about Vietnamese culture and history.

Reporter: How can you assess the Vietnam-Norway cooperation in the context of recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ambassador Hilde Solbakken: Vietnam's rapid economic recovery after the pandemic and GDP growth have impressed the international community. Vietnam's ambition and determination to achieve its net-zero emissions target by 2050 is commendable, including your recent participation in the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) in which Norway is a member. Norway will join other countries to support Vietnam's transition to renewable energy. Vietnam can play an important role showing that economic development can completely decouple from the use of fossil energy.

In the next three years, Vietnam will fulfill its role as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN). This is an important opportunity and also a great responsibility. We look forward to constructive dialogue with Vietnam on human rights issues on the Council's agenda. In 2021, Norway and Vietnam worked together on the UN Security Council as elected members and shared many priorities such as protecting civilians in conflict; women, peace and security; and climate. I hope this will be the basis for us to continue to strengthen the good cooperation in many fields.

Reporter: As a diplomatic bridge between Vietnam and Norway, in 2023, what plans will you have to continue promoting the two countries' relations, especially in potential fields?

Ambassador Hilde Solbakken: The past five decades have been a solid foundation for us to continue to deepen the friendly relationship between the two countries. Norway and Vietnam will work together in multilateral forums to implement the principles of the UN Charter, and uphold the predictable rules of international trade as a means to growth and prosperity.

The ocean will certainly continue to be an important area of cooperation between the two countries, with new opportunities opened up in issues such as marine spatial planning with the aim of facilitating the green transition of Vietnam, including offshore wind power development, sustainable marine farming and marine environmental protection. In the coming time, Norway will join with other donor countries to support Vietnam to fulfill its international commitments on environment, including JETP implementation.

I will also do my best to create conditions for more Norwegian exports to be present in the Vietnamese market, especially seafood, and to have more Norwegian companies invest here. Green economy and energy transition bring many cooperation opportunities for the two countries and our businesses in the fields of renewable energy, circular economy, and marine farming.

I also look forward to the resumption of the negotiation process of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) consisting of 4 countries Iceland, Lichestein, Norway, and Switzerland. Sixteen rounds of negotiations have been carried out since 2012. I hope this Agreement will be signed and ratified during my next 4 years here to help break down trade barriers, and create conditions for the circulation of goods and services between the parties, bringing benefits to both Vietnam and EFTA member countries, including Norway.

Reporter: Can you share your feelings on enjoying the atmosphere and taste of the traditional Tet in Vietnam for the first time? What message do you have to send to readers of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper on the occasion of the New Year?

Ambassador Hilde Solbakken: My family is very excited to welcome the first Tet in Hanoi. We have heard a lot about Tet and related customs. We will go to the Temple of Literature for letters and especially want to try the Vietnamese traditional sticky rice cakes.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, I wish the readers of the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper and all Vietnamese people good health, happiness and a very successful 2023.

Reporter: Thank you so much!

Phuong Huyen