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Vietnam looks for Finland experience in hi-tech, innovation
Hai Yen 18:25, 2021/09/12
Sharing similarities in many ways, a strong partnership with Finland could help Vietnam realize its development goals.

Vietnam aims to promote economic development based on high technologies and form an advanced innovative startup ecosystem, for which experiences from Finland prove to be valuable.

 Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue at the event. Photos: VNA

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue stressed the view during the Vietnam-Finland Business Roundtable on September 11 at Helsinki, which drew the participation of major Finnish companies, including Headai, KONE, Operon, Valmet or Vaisala.

Hue said Vietnam is currently the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia with a nominal GDP of nearly US$360 billion. Vietnam has also been one of the frontrunners in realizing UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by taking the poverty rate from 58% in 1993 to 2.5% at present.

“In the next five years, Vietnam targets an average growth of 6.5-7%,” Hue said, adding the country aims to join the upper-middle-income group by 2030 and become a high-income country by 2045.

According to Hue, Vietnam, with half of the population of nearly 100 million being under 35 years of age, is at a turning point to restructure the economy and adopt digitalization for faster, more inclusive, and sustainable economic growth.

“Vietnam focuses on rapid and sustainable development that takes into account both economic, social, and environmental factors,” he added.

 Delegates at the roundtable.

Referring to the long-standing Vietnam-Finland relations, Hue said the two countries are scheduled to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations by 2030.

Hue added Finland has made a huge leap from a war-torn country with an obsolete agricultural sector to stay among the most advanced in the world.

“As both countries are similar in many ways, with determination and international cooperation, including with Finland, Vietnam could soon achieve its development goals,” Hue said.

At present, Vietnam has been a member of 17 bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, including the CPTPP and RCEP.

While Vietnam and the EU have already had a trade deal in place, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) remains pending approval from all EU members.

Hue called for European countries to soon approve the EVIPA to protect the rights benefits of investors from two sides, especially as the world is soon entering a new development phase in the post-Covid-19 period.

At the forum, Finland’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari highlighted Vietnam’s rapid growth for the past three decades.

Skinnari said Vietnam’s success has opened up new opportunities for both countries to enjoy benefits from bilateral trade and economic cooperation, with bilateral trade reaching a total of EUR5 billion for the past 20 years.

The Finnish minister stressed Vietnam is not only Finland’s priority partner, but also a good friend for 50 years.

Skinnari expected the two countries to strengthen public-private partnerships, expecting Vietnam to take advantage of innovative technologies provided by Finnish companies, especially in promoting a circular and green economy.

He stressed Finnish firms could play a major role in assisting Vietnam during the process of digital transformation, with the ultimate goal of maintaining rapid and sustainable growth.

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