HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese and Finnish enterprises should foster co-operation in a wide range of areas including forestry, energy, ICT, infrastructure construction, mining and environmental technology, according to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
During a business conference yesterday in Ha Noi, the group's vice chairman Doan Duy Khuong said that bilateral economic relations between Viet Nam and Finland have developed significantly over recent years.
Finland has been offering Viet Nam effective assistance in rural development, waste water treatment and trade sector management, he said.
Two-way trade reached US$300 million in 2012, up 40 per cent year-on-year. During that period, Viet Nam exported approximately $100 million worth of goods to Finland including coffee, rubber, footwear, handicrafts, telecommunication equipment and textiles and garments.
In terms of investment, Finland ranks 26th out of 98 countries investing in Viet Nam, with eight projects worth a total of $336 million. Most of these projects are small and medium-sized and specialise in industry, textiles and garments and timber production.
Despite these encouraging results, the bilateral trade between the two countries has yet to reach its potential, Khuong said.
"The question is how can the two governments and trade promotion agencies support businesses in establishing partnerships?" he noted.
"Viet Nam has been one of the long term development partners of Finland. Since 1973, Finland has assisted Viet Nam with some $400 million," said the Finnish Ambassador to Viet Nam Kimmo Lahdevirta.
"Currently, we are looking for new means of co-operation, such as partnerships between companies and institutions," he added.
Several initiatives have been launched, including the Finnish Business Partnership Programme (Finnpartnership) which aims to promote business co-operation between companies in Finland and in developing countries in order to increase long-term business partnerships.
"Finnpartnership offers advisory services free of charge and financial support for Finnish companies' projects in developing countries," commented programme director Siv Ahlberg.
Vietnamese companies wishing to find new partners for business could apply to the matchmaking service by submitting an application at www.finnpartnership.fi/matchmaking, she said. — VNS