New stage in Vietnam-Finland traditional friendly relationship

At the invitation of Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho is paying an official visit to Vietnam from March 24-26.
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho. (Photo: VGP)
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho. (Photo: VGP)

This is the first visit by the Finnish Parliament Speaker to a country outside Europe since taking office. That Vietnam is the only destination in his trip demonstrates Vietnam’s special position in Finland’s foreign policy. The visit helps to strengthen the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Vietnam and Finland, promotes cooperation between the two parliaments, and marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Vietnam and Finland established diplomatic relations on January 25, 1973. The traditional friendly and fine cooperative relationship between the two countries is developing positively. 2023 was a meaningful year to both countries as it marked 50 years of diplomatic ties. In recent years, the fine cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments has continued to be maintained through delegation exchanges.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s visit to Finland in September 2021 contributed to enhancing political trust and mutual understanding and created further momentum to advance bilateral ties. Within multilateral frameworks, the two countries maintain engagements, coordination, and support for each other at regional and international parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP).

Cultivated by the two countries’ generations of leaders and people for more than half a century, the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Vietnam and Finland are growing well. Economic-trade-investment cooperation is a top priority in the bilateral relationship with many outstanding achievements. In recent years, the trade value between the two countries has been rising steadily. Two-way trade in 2023 reached 375.7 million USD.

Vietnam’s key exports to Finland are steel, footwear, garments, rubber, transport vehicles, timber, bicycles, computers, and electronic parts, while Finland’s main exports to Vietnam are equipment and machinery, textile materials, steel and iron, timber and timber products, chemicals, and paper.

As of December 2023, Finnish investment in Vietnam ranked 58th, with 46.78 million USD in 35 active projects. Cooperation in science-technology, the environment, clean energy and education has been stepped up recently in accordance with both sides’ strengths and demands.

The intimate relationship between the two countries’ people is an important thread connecting two geographically distant countries and bringing them increasingly closer. The Vietnamese community in Finland has about 12,000 people, who are hard-working, obey local laws, and have integrated well with local society. The Association of Vietnamese in Finland was established in 2007 and has held many activities such as cultural events, teaching Vietnamese, providing legal assistance, and activities looking towards the homeland.

In recent times, the Finnish government and parliament have always created favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to have a stable life and make contributions to promoting the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

The reception for Finnish Parliament Speaker Jussi Halla-aho on an official visit to Vietnam affirms Vietnam’s consistent policy of attaching importance to the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Finland, with the wish to further deepen the trust between the two countries in various fields.

At the same time, Vietnam wishes to promote cooperation between the two legislative bodies, making parliamentary cooperation grow even more effective and substantive and creating the momentum for expanding bilateral ties in many fields, especially economic cooperation.

On the foundation of the time-honoured relationship which has been constantly strengthened and cultivated in the past 50 years, Finnish Parliament Speaker Jussi Halla-aho’s official visit to Vietnam will help to create successes in a new stage of bilateral relations.