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During 2010, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) and the Vietnamese Chemicals Agency (Vinachemia) drew up a proposal for a co-operative programme on chemicals between Vietnam and Sweden.

In December 2010, Sida decided to support the programme. The aim of the co-operation is to build on mutual interests (actor co-operation), which could last for a long time irrespective of the extent of funding.

The co-operation includes continued development of the Vietnamese law, product registration, prevention of chemical accidents and long-term planning of the production of chemicals. For Sweden, it is important to deepen the knowledge of chemicals in products exported to Sweden and to understand the implications of European chemical legislation in an international perspective.

Since 2004, KemI has co-operated closely with the Ministry of Industry (MoIT) in Vietnam. The engagement of KemI was part of a broader Swedish-Vietnamese programme, SEMLA (Strengthening Environmental Management and Land Administration) in which also the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) took part.

During 2007, the national assembly of Vietnam adopted a framework law on chemical substances, which laid the basis of the global harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemical substances (GHS) initiated by the UN. This law also facilitates the intro­duction of international conventions on restrictions and bans of particularly hazardous substances, such as the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants.

In addition to bilateral projects, KemI supports experience exchange between authorities in charge of chemicals management in South-east Asia, in particular between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Read about Regional level/South East Asia.