Infrastructure and Support in Economic Development (1967 - 1986)
“Money is important, but what is more importan is the support across our entire history with Sweden, this has nothing to do with money. Othercountries give us more money but we don’t have the same relationship with them”. Md. Pham Chi Lan, Former Director-General, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Hanoi, March 23, 2011).
Vietnam faced many significant development challenges during and after the war that ended in 1975. One of the most pressing needs was to rebuild infrastructure following the damage done during the war. Addressing a malfunctioning health sector was also an immediate concern.
From 1967 to 1985, Sweden’s development cooperation initially focused on humanitarian support and then on projects that aimed to restore the socioeconomic infrastructure of Vietnam,especially in the field of energy, healthcare, paper and forestry. They include the Bai Bang paperand pulp mill, the biggest project that Sweden has granted to a developing country, the national Children’s Hospital, and the Vietnam- Sweden Hospital in Uong Bi, Quang Ninh. These projects became symbols of the friendship and cooperation between two countries and two people.