Looking forward to forging even stronger partnership between Denmark and Việt Nam

Update: June, 06/2016 - 09:00
Happy cyclists: The Danes are well known for their love of cycling.— Photo courtesy Denmark’s Embassy
Viet Nam News

On occasion of the Constitution Day of Denmark on June 5, Việt Nam News presents an article written by Denmark’s Ambassador to Việt Nam, Charlotte Laursen.

Denmark-Việt Nam - partners in quality growth

On June 5, Danes commemorated their 1849-constitution, which gives them the right to free speech, to vote and to play a role in developing society. We celebrate the society we have built on the basis of this constitution, a society firmly rooted in the rule of law and a vibrant democracy.

On this year’s Constitution Day, Danes can celebrate that we have once again been ranked “the world’s happiest nation”. According to the UN-study, the Danes’ high satisfaction with their overall life is a result of the structure of the Danish society:

  • A high level of social trust is one of the defining features, and a result of very low corruption, good governance and a strong civil society.
  • A welfare society, allowing a large degree of economic freedom, while providing comprehensive social security and free education and healthcare.
  • Prosperity, achieved with high consideration for the environment, through clean, sustainable technologies.
  • A high level of personal freedom and influence on society through a well-functioning democracy.

The features that make the Danish people the happiest in the world have of course evolved throughout our history. Political determination, strong regulatory frameworks and international integration, have helped us to innovate efficient solutions to many of the important and pressing challenges that the world faces today. This is the case within climate change and environment, in agriculture and food safety, in education and health, and in governance and public administration.

These Danish strengths match well with the direction Việt Nam wants to go. I am pleased to see these aspirations confirmed and emphasised by the Vietnamese leadership elected this year, and stipulated in the recent Việt Nam 2035 landmark report jointly developed by the World Bank and the government of Việt Nam.

For decades, Denmark has been among the absolute largest providers of ODA grants to Việt Nam.

Now, under the headline “Partners in Quality Growth”, and on the basis of our Việt Nam-Denmark Comprehensive Partnership, we increasingly focus on the match between modern Danish strengths and the Vietnamese agenda to develop a modernised and higher middle income country by 2035.

In doing so, we are crafting new strategic co-operation agreements between Danish and Vietnamese ministries in several key areas.

For example, to assist the production of safe food, we are setting up a partnership to develop efficient food safety control systems and to facilitate knowledge transfer between Danish and Vietnamese authorities, private businesses and research institutions.

Likewise, within the area of environmental management, a partnership is being set up to facilitate knowledge transfer and the development of efficient systems for management and control of industrial emissions.

In vocational education we focus on bridging gaps between the needs of globally competing enterprises and the skills and competences of VET schools graduates.

Also, within green growth we have recently welcomed Việt Nam as a core partner in the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) whose annual summit takes place this week in Copenhagen. Việt Nam is the first ASEAN country to become a core member of this Danish-Korean led organisation that promotes green solutions.

Finally, our trade relations are expanding rapidly as well. More than 130 Danish enterprises are currently present in Việt Nam. Denmark is one of Việt Nam’s top trade partners per capita within the EU and in 2015 alone, our two-way trade in goods increased by 44 per cent. I expect that our co-operation within trade and investment will continue to grow substantially in the coming years, especially with the new and ambitious EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement concluded last year.

In 2016, we will celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Việt Nam. We will mark this with a series of activities throughout the autumn, including high-level government visits, partnership-seminars, exchanges by the National Assembly and the Danish Parliament, as well as “Danish Weeks” in Việt Nam in November.

I look forward to forging an even stronger partnership between our two countries in the years to come, between our governments, our companies and our people.  VNS