Finland aims to further promote trade as well as other cooperation with Vietnam and the Finnish Embassy in Hanoi will serve as a strong bridge for that promotion, Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Keijo Norvanto affirmed on Wednesday.
The ambassador made these remarks during a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Finland and the celebration of Finland's 106th Independence Day.
The event took place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's southern economic hub, on the same day.
This is the first time that a ceremony to celebrate Finland’s Independence Day has been held in the city, he told deputy chairman of the city’s administration Vo Van Hoan, who attended the event.
The ambassador conveyed his delight at the productive evolution of the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries over the past 50 years.
He noted that the social and economic strengths of both nations have complemented each other, contributing to their mutual sustainability, competitiveness, and prosperity.
Since the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect in 2020, trade between Vietnam and Finland has had impressive growth, reaching US$430 million last year.
With such trade performance, Vietnam has become the largest trading partner of Finland in Southeast Asia, Norvanto said.
He expressed optimism for the robust promotion of bilateral trade and other forms of cooperation between the two sides.
The ambassador emphasized that both the Finnish Embassy in Hanoi and the Business Finland - Finland Trade Center in Ho Chi Minh City will persist in their roles as effective bridges for facilitating such promotion, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
As a longstanding partner of the city, Finland actively engaged in the Week for Ho Chi Minh City Innovation, Startup, and Entrepreneurship, organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee from November 23 to 25, the diplomat pointed out.
This involvement is an integral component of Finland's collaboration in areas aligned with the city's interests, namely smart urban development, sustainability, circular economy, green port initiatives, and digital transformation, he further explained.
Addressing the ceremony, Hoan congratulated the ambassador on the Independence Day and on the Northern European country’s strong political system and socio-economic achievements after 106 years of establishment.
He underscored the robust diplomatic ties, friendship, and multifaceted cooperation between the two nations over the years.
He noted that Vietnam deeply appreciates Finland's historical support during the former's struggle for national independence and in the ongoing process of national construction and development.
As one of the Vietnamese localities at the forefront of collaboration with Finland, Ho Chi Minh City currently hosts 22 projects initiated by Finnish investors, boasting a cumulative investment exceeding $3.5 million.
The European country now ranks 53rd in the list of 120 countries and territories investing in the city, Hoan told the ceremony.
“Despite problems facing the world, including non-traditional security challenges such as epidemics and climate change, Vietnam and Finland, driven by their determination and creativity, will turn challenges into opportunities and join hands to develop for the benefits and prosperity of each nation,” the official stated.
In a related development, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto affirmed the significant partnership between their two countries.
They jointly agreed to enhance trade and investment cooperation, leveraging the potential of the EVFTA.
They reached this agreement during their meeting on December 1, held on the sidelines of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as reported by the Vietnam Government Portal.