A view of the Việt Nam-Finland Business Roundtable. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HELSINKI — Việt Nam wants to learn from Finland’s experience to develop fast and sustainably, National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ told the Việt Nam – Finland Business Roundtable in Helsinki on September 11.
Huệ and his entourage are on an official visit to Finland on September 10 – 11.
Việt Nam, with a GDP value of US$360 billion, is now the ASEAN’s third largest economy, the top Vietnamese legislator said, stating that the country aims for an annual growth of 6.5 – 7 per cent over the next five years, and to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income country by 2045.
He stressed that Việt Nam attaches great importance to developing a green, circular and low-carbon economy, cutting greenhouse gas emission and accelerating startups and innovation, while Finland has an economy based on cutting-edge technology and boasts one of the world’s most complete innovation ecosystem along with strong start-up trends. Therefore, Việt Nam wants to explore Finland’s experience and forge cooperation between businesses of both sides in those fields.
The Southeast Asian country is pursuing robust, sustainable and harmonious development in terms of economics, social affairs, environment and adaption to climate change in the coming time, he added.
Noting that Việt Nam is a signatory to 17 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Huệ called on investors from Finland and the EU at large to do business in Việt Nam.
He informed that during his visit, Finnish leaders have pledged to soon ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) for better protection of rights and interests of investors from both sides.
The roundtable saw the presence of Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, who said he hopes Finnish enterprises can provide help for Việt Nam in digital transformation, a critical factor for an economy to maintain sustainable growth.
He also announced that Finland has agreed to provide extra support for projects using soft foreign loans in Việt Nam.
Participants at the event included representatives from local corporations, such as Headai, KONE, Operon, Valmet and Vaisala which operate in hardware and technology for weather forecast and air pollution monitoring, industry and new energy, water industry, cyber security, automated elevator, and artificial intelligence and smart data.
The same day, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan, who is accompanying NA Chairman Huệ on the Finland visit, met with Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppa.
Hoan thanked his Finnish counterpart for supporting Việt Nam in capacity building and implementing a project on developing a national forest database, saying the first and second phases of the project have provided a basis for Việt Nam to effectively manage its forest data.
He proposed Finland to continue assisting Việt Nam in the project’s third phase and in growing multi-purpose forest. Both ministers agreed to boost partnership in this field, particularly expanding forestry cooperatives for the sustainable development of the sector.
The Vietnamese minister also asked for Finland’s help in developing husbandry, horticulture and multi-use forestry; transforming from agricultural production to agricultural economy; promoting the sustainable development of rural areas, circular agriculture; and supplying clean water for rural residents.
Việt Nam is among the world's top 15 exporters of agricultural products, but bilateral trade between Việt Nam and Finland fails to meet both countries’ potentials, he said, urging joint efforts to beef up the export of complementary goods to each other’s market in the coming time.
Minister Hoan went on to say that he hopes to meet with representatives from EU member states during his visit to discuss and explore the EU’s concerns over Việt Nam’s fisheries, a long-standing livelihood of many Vietnamese.
Việt Nam has issued a number of regulations and legal documents to tighten control on fishing and made institutional improvements in accordance with the EU’s recommendations, he noted, adding that responsible fishing is also a mission of Vietnamese people to protect marine ecosystem and fulfill its international commitments.
Jari Leppa, for his part, said Finland stands ready to share experience with Việt Nam in conducting forest and nature studies.
Finland is particularly interested in projects on fostering the development of cooperatives, trade, and circular and bio economy in Việt Nam, he stated, noting that the two sides can also exchange experience in other areas of mutual interest. — VNS