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Finnish Ambassador looks back on ties with Việt Nam

Update: December, 07/2018 - 09:00
Husky dog team in the snow. — Photo courtesy of Visit Finland
Viet Nam News

On the occasion of the 101st Independence day of Finland on December 6, Ambassador Kari Kahiluoto has a message a Việt Nam News readers as the day is commemorated in Finland and by Finnish Embassies worldwide.

Traditionally, Finnish communities gather on this day to toast independence, share memories and express joy and shared expectations for the future.

In Hà Nội, this independence day is special as Finland and Việt Nam have just marked the 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. Finland recognised Việt Nam amongst the war, in 1973, during an enormously testing and difficult time for Việt Nam.

In 1974, still during the war, the embassy was opened in these very premises in two rooms of the then Thống Nhất – Reunificaton Hotel. Today, the personnel of the Embassy of Finland have unveiled a commemorative plaque inside the hotel and this reception is held in the Metropole hotel.

This year’s reception also specifically aims to recognise and thank our Vietnamese partners in public administration, academia and the cultural sphere, and individuals and friends who have a long track-record in people-to-people relations between Finland and Việt Nam and especially in the commercial and private enterprise sector.

Finland and Việt Nam share excellent relations. Our relationship is expanding from development co-operation towards an equal and mutually reinforcing relationship that is highlighted by trade, investment and commerce.

This fall a successful visit by the Minister of Economy of Finland Mika Lintila demonstrated Finnish commercial interest in the key sectors of the Vietnamese economy: digitalisation, Smart City development, energy, cleantech and innovation, water and waste management. All of these activities support sustainable development and the UN sustainable development goals.

Two important Memorandums of Understanding were signed: one on continuing cooperation in the field of innovation between the Finnish Ministry for the Economy and Employment and the Vietnamese Ministry for Science and Technology, and the other to promote private sector commercial contacts between the Finnish Chamber of Commerce and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

The enhanced co-operation with VCCI is of importance also in the context of the EU – Việt Nam FTA, the implementation of which Finland is committed to.

The conclusion of the EU-Việt Nam agreement on the signing of the EU-Việt Nam voluntary partnership agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) to support sustainable forest management and trade in forest products is also of special importance for Finland, as the Finnish-made FORMIS forest management information system will support Việt Nam in its implementation.

The Embassy continues its work to create favourable conditions for increased business and other mutually beneficial co-operation between Finland and Việt Nam. We can only succeed together with the interest and efforts of Finnish companies, institutions and other stakeholders.

Education remains one of the key areas of co-operation and also Finnish visibility in Việt Nam. Finland is known for its high level and accessible education. This year has witnessed the opening of a Finnish vocational school and a Finnish pathway educational centre in HCM City.

We are expecting the opening of the Việt Nam International Finnish School at the Tôn Đức Thắng University in HCM City in August next year.  It is a flagship project and completion and opening of education at the school will be a significant new milestone.

Close to two thousand young Vietnamese study for professions and academic excellence in Finland. These young champions of a modern Việt Nam will contribute to the future of both countries.

A high level visit to Finland by Politburo member Phạm Minh Chính this November highlighted our excellent relations and the interest shown in Việt Nam towards Finnish and Nordic societies. Not as a model, but as a source of inspiration and good practices for the development of a fair and inclusive society that is based on a strong concept of trust. — VNS

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