On September 9, a high-ranking delegation of the National Assembly of Vietnam led by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue will begin an official visit to Finland. This is the first visit to Finland by a Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic relations, as well as the first visit of Mr Vuong Dinh Hue after being elected Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam. The visit promises to create new development opportunities for Finland – Vietnam cooperation.
Finland and Vietnam officially established relations on January 25, 1973, just two days before the Paris Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam was signed. When Vietnam was struggling with difficulties left by the war, Finland was one of the countries that deployed the most aid activities to Vietnam with a total value of about 340 million USD. Many projects on poverty alleviation and socio-economic development in Vietnam bear the imprint of Finland such as the Pha Rung ship repair factory in Hai Phong, the programs to improve the water supply and drainage system in Hanoi, restore the forest in Bac Kan and develop rural areas in Quang Tri, Thua Thien – Hue… Vietnam is also one of the eight long-term development cooperation partners of Finland.
In recent years, cooperation between the two countries has been growing day by day, in which economy – trade, science-technology, education-training are the top priority fields. Two-way trade turnover increased about 3.5 times in the past 15 years, reaching 337.5 million USD in 2020. Notably, only in the first 6 months of 2021, bilateral trade turnover reached 285 million USD, up 61.2% over the same period last year, in which the export value of Finland to Vietnam increased about 20%. Currently, Finland has more than 100 enterprises operating in Vietnam and 28 valid investment projects worth 23.86 million USD. Regarding science-technology, the two countries have achieved many positive results in the implementation of the “Vietnam – Finland Innovation Partnership Program” (IPP) (2009 – 2019), Finland is currently focusing on support research and development activities of the Vietnamese business community, help Vietnam train its science-technology human resources, support some municipalities (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang) to contruct “smart city” models. Regarding education and training, the two countries signed 18 memorandums of understanding, focusing on transferring textbooks and online training programs, opening more Finnish schools in Vietnam, and cooperation in university education… Vietnam is also one of the countries which have the most students studying in Finland with about 2,300 people.
However, the achievements of cooperation between the two countries are still not commensurate with the good traditional relations as well as the potential and strengths of the two sides. Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Finland accounts for only 0.67% of total trade turnover between Vietnam and the EU, Finnish investment capital also accounts for only 0.33% of total EU investment in Vietnam. Many areas of cooperation have not yet been fully exploited by the two countries, such as digital technology, circular economy, marine economy, smart city construction, clean energy development, adaptation to climate change, security – defence cooperation… In the context that the Vietnam – EU Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has come into force, Finnish government and businesses need to be aware of the potentials and opportunities that Vietnam can bring, to maximize the benefits in relations with this country.
Asia – Pacific is becoming the most dynamic developing region in the world, in which Vietnam is one of the economies resigtering fast and sustainable growth. With a geographical location that is close to China and bustle shipping routes of the world, abundant human resources, a large market of nearly 100 million people, a booming middle class…, Vietnam has many favourable conditions to develop its economy rapidly. After 35 years of implementing the Doi Moi policy, Vietnam has increased its GDP 18 times, its per capita income 22 times; the economic growth rate has always maintained at 6-7%/year. Vietnam’s economy has a very large openness, by 2020, Vietnam has signed 15 free trade agreements (FTAs), including the EVFTA, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP)… The country aims to become a country with a high average in the next 15 years.
With the recent rapid development of Vietnam and the untapped potential of the two countries, many cooperation opportunities in the Finnish-Vietnamese relationship promise to be opened in the near future, especially after the visit to Finland by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue./.
SUMMARY INFORMATION OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE VIETNAM NATIONAL ASSEMBLY VUONG DINH HUE
Mr Vuong Dinh Hue was born in 1957, hometown: Nghe An; Professor – Doctor of Economics, member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam, a member of the National Assembly of Vietnam tenure XIII, XIV, XV.
He was the Minister of Finance, Head of the Economic Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam.
In February 2020, Mr Vuong Dinh Hue was assigned by the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam to hold the position of Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee. In March 2021, he was elected by the National Assembly of Vietnam to hold the position of Chairman of the XIV National Assembly, Chairman of the National Election Council. On July 20, 2021, Mr Vuong Dinh Hue was elected by the 15th National Assembly to hold the position of Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, term XV, 2021 – 2026.