Wednesday, January 29 2020


For practical Finns, link with nature boosts sustainability

Update: December, 07/2017 - 09:00
Green vision: Finnish Ambassador Kari Kahiluoto and counsellor Annika Kaipola with Vietnamese school children at a Tree Planting Ceremony at in Hà Nội.— Photo courtesy of the embassy
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — During just one short century, Finland has re-invented itself – and we are still at it. Our national character and northern heritage have boosted us to the top of all kinds of country rankings from quality of life to freedom of speech.

The theme for the celebratory year is “Together”, showing that everyone – Finns and friends of Finns – are welcome to take part in creating the society.

As Finns, we are always looking for practical solutions – turning setbacks into steps forward. We’re pragmatic and focused on functionality – making sure that things work and keep on working. Our unique relationship with nature means sustainable thinking comes naturally to us.

In Việt Nam, Finland is considered to be an old friend. We are known for our long-term commitment to the development of Việt Nam. We have been especially acknowledged as a country of high-level and equal education, environmentally sustainable solutions and as a leader in innovation.

For example in northern Việt Nam, Finland is best known as the first development partner to support securing water supplies. The large northern cities of Hà Nội and Hải Phòng built their water-supply systems with technical and financial support from Finland.

During my stay in Việt Nam, I have found many similarities between our two countries. We are citizens of the same globalised village. Our fundamental values and objectives are the same. We cherish education as the best guarantee of durable progress. In the academic year 2016-2017, Vietnamese students were the second biggest foreign student group in Finland and we also have a big community of Vietnamese whom have migrated to Finland and adjusted there well.

Natural: Finland’s unique relationship with nature means sustainable thinking comes naturally to its people. Photo taken by Hannes Becker.

Family, homestead, self-respect and optimism in the search for a better future also unite us. Protection of the environment and respect of the beauty of nature are important for both the Vietnamese and Finnish people. We also share a common view of history. We have learned to find strength and vision from our historical heritage.

The centenary year culminates in an independence reception with many Finnish alumni, Finnish leading companies and Friends of Finland in Việt Nam among the invitees.

Many small steps that led to the development of Finland as a modern welfare state are also described in the two newly translated books: Những Sáng Kiến Phần Lan (100 Social Innovations From Finland) and Lửa Trời Đuôi Cáo: 100 Câu Chuyện Phần Lan (100 Stories About Finland). We hope that through these books we can introduce more of the wonders of our beloved country to the people of Việt Nam.  

After the 100th National Day of Finland, our eyes are on the future. Today Finland is a prosperous and solid welfare state, a country that is considered to be the least failed state in the world. Our identity is demonstrated through our values and achievements, and by our identification to both the Nordic community and values. 

As both of our countries are continuously changing to survive in an ever-changing world, I believe we can succeed by working together.

Finland remains a trustworthy and solid partner for the developing Việt Nam into a modern, prosperous and regionally integrated country. — VNS





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