Vietnam, Finland seek closer ties

Finnish investors are increasingly eyeing Vietnam since the country has a stable security and political environment and democracy and transparency are expanding along with its development, the visiting Speaker of Finland's Parliament, Sauli Niinisto, said.

Speaking with Vietnamese National Assembly chairman Nguyen Phu Trong  in Hanoi on January 11, Mr. Niinisto hailed Vietnam’s social and economic achievements while the two sides vowed to strengthen ties for mutual benefit.

There is vast scope for cooperation with Vietnam, which managed to maintain growth despite the global economic meltdown, Mr. Niinisto said.

National Assembly chairman Nguyen Phu Trong (R) receives Speaker of Finland’s Parliament, Sauli Niinisto, in Hanoi January 11(Photo: SGGP)

At a joint press conference after the talks, the visiting dignitary said Finland did not agree with the EU’s decision to extend the anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnam’s leather-capped shoes.

He also promised Finland’s support for Vietnam in negotiations on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the EU.

At a meeting Mr. Niinisto held with President Nguyen Minh Triet the same day, the two sides said bilateral cooperation has expanded in various fields, including education and training, science and technology, tourism, labor, and poverty alleviation.

Vietnam wishes to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with Finland and needs more support from Finland in PCA negotiations with the EU, President Triet said.

Mr. Niinisto said Finland would support Vietnam in discussions at EU conferences.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who met with the speaker the same day, thanked the Finnish government and people for their positive and effective official development assistance (ODA).

He promised that Vietnam would create favorable conditions for investors and hoped more Finnish firms would invest in the country. He also sought Finland’s support in getting EU recognition as a market economy.

Mr. Niinisto said Finnish businesses are very interested in doing business in Vietnam. He believed that with Finland’s development experience and Vietnam’s economic potential, trade and economic cooperation between the two countries would further develop.

By Thanh Nam – Translated by Vinh Tho

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