National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s official visit to Finland:

Innovative start-ups and knowledge economy make Finnish success story

During the two days in beautiful, peaceful and hospitable Helsinki, a delegation from the National Assembly of Vietnam and high-ranking Finnish leaders carried out an urgent work programme with many important contents and achieved good results.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue attends the Vietnam – Finland Business Roundtable in Helsinki on September 11. (Photo: VNA)
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue attends the Vietnam – Finland Business Roundtable in Helsinki on September 11. (Photo: VNA)

In an open working atmosphere with sincere exchanges, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Anu Vehvilainen and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin all welcomed and highly appreciated the visit made by the Vietnamese delegation, describing it an important highlight as the two countries are preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

In a friendly gesture to welcome Vietnamese friends, the meeting with the Prime Minister of the host country took place at the PM’s private house on Snellnaninkatu street, not far from the city centre. This was the first visit to Finland of the Head of the Vietnamese NA in 28 years, and the first visit to Finland by a foreign senior leader this year amid the serious outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced Finland to postpone a number of diplomatic plans.

At the meetings which covered many important issue after the official welcome ceremony, the two countries’ top legislalors expressed their belief that in the coming time, the two legislatures will continue to work closely to strongly promote cooperation, contributing to the prosperous development of each country, for peace, stability and cooperation in the region and in the world.

Besides the official activities with the leaders of the host country, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and the Ministers of Planning and Investment, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development also attended and had exchanges at a roundtable discussion between leading enterprises of the two countries. Through the event, the business communities of the two countries learned more about the great opportunities, potential and benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The NA Chairman emphasised that Vietnam is promoting FDI cooperation, asking Finland to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), encouraging businesses in the two countries to actively grasp the trend of cooperation and promote investment in important fields being promoted in Vietnam, also areas of interest to Finland.

According to the latest data, by the end of June 2021, Finland has 29 effective projects with a total registered capital of US$23,632 million in Vietnam. This ranks it 70th out of 140 countries and territories investing directly in Vietnam. Legislative leaders of the two countries pledged to strengthen the role of supreme supervision, coordinate in supervision, promote the effective implementation of agreements signed by the two countries as well as implement major programmes and projects for the benefit of the two countries and peoples.

It can be seen that Finland has obtained remarkable results in COVID-19 prevention and control. 72% of the country’s population over the age of 18 have received their first vaccine shot. Finland is among the group of European countries that reached the target set by the EU. For many years, the field of public health, in which health care for the entire population has been considered one of the top tasks in Finland and has always been prioritised higher than many other economic and social fields.

For many years, Finland has been consistently voted as one of the happiest countries in the world, always ranked at the top in terms of GDP per capita, social allowance, life expectancy, generosity, etc. Finland also has an excellent education system, among the top in the world.

Another success is that the creative start-up community in Finland plays a very important role in the innovation process of the country’s economy. This is the content that the Vietnamese NA paid special attention to and wished the Finnish side would share their experience and practical lessons.

On average, thousands of start-ups are established each year in Finland. Before the COVID-19 epidemic broke out and spread, a big event that attracted the attention of young people around the world was the Slush programme, held in Helsinki with about 17,000 start-up projects, investors and media agencies from about 100 countries around the world. The organisers of the programme announced that they will resume the event later this year.

The Vietnamese delegation was really impressed by the successful stories and lessons of technological innovation and creativity, the foundation of education and knowledge of Finland, a prosperous and happy country for everyone.