Viet Nam News spoke to Finnish Ambassador Pekka Hyvonen on the occasion of his country’s National Day today.
Finland is a world leader in terms of clean energy and environmental protection. It has also helped Viet Nam to boost the use of clean technology. What challenges are there in the process of implementing such technology in Viet Nam, taking into consideration the country’s status as a middle income nation? How should the country better promote clean technology?
Viet Nam is now a middle income country and has set a target of becoming an industrialised nation by 2020. Finnish companies want to co-operate with Viet Nam in reach to those targets. It is worthwhile investing in the future. By changing our attitudes and thinking green we will make savings and increase lifetimes of our people, environment and production lines.
Protecting the environment is becoming more and more important. Respecting the environment and maintaining growth at the same time in a sustainable way is one of Finland’s strengths. Finland has been clean-tech or green-tech right from the start of her industrial life. We have been forced to be frugal with our raw materials and fight the extremely cold climate. We do this by using lean and efficient processes, saving energy as much as possible, and by taking due care of waste, for instance, by recycling it.
Viet Nam finds herself among the five countries suffering the most from the negative impacts of climate change. It is time to act. Viet Nam can become the front runner in the region by opting for clean technology.
Viet Nam is rich in natural resources. Viet Nam has a window of opportunity not to make the same mistakes as many countries have made in exploiting natural resources. There is always an alternative, sustainable way to do it.
Viet Nam will have huge infrastructure projects in the future, particularly in the transport and energy sectors. Finnish companies are utilising insightful technological competence and industrial knowledge to deliver cutting-edge solutions and services to make a real and sustainable difference to business. In the long run, investments that make use of the right technology and sustainable processes can also deliver the best results and will be the most productive.
Finland has fostered one of the best-educated and trained work forces in the world. Viet Nam hopes to send workers to Finland to learn from their expertise in various sectors. How feasible is this project, given that the Finnish Minister of Labour Anni Sinnemaki recently commented that Finland no longer has a great demand for overseas workers? What is the time frame for the project if it’s carried out?
Finland suffered from the global recession in 2008-2009. Our exports decreased and the unemployment rate increased to figures where labour import was no longer relevant. The Finnish economy is now back on track but the demand for labour is still below normal.
The Finnish population age pyramid is the exact opposite to the Vietnamese one. We have a lot of ageing people and to keep the wheels turning and export industries productive, it is clear that relying on domestic labour will not be a viable option in the future.
Parliamentary elections will take place in Finland in April 2011. After the elections, policy decisions can be expected.
During his visit to Finland in May, Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet said he hoped two-way bilateral trade turnover would reach US$1 billion in the near future. What should be done to achieve the target?
We have been promoting the Vietnamese markets and investment opportunities to Finnish companies during bilateral high level visits. Business to business contacts are increasing all the time. Our FINPRO trade offices in Ha Noi and in HCM City have been helping both Finnish and Vietnamese companies to start businesses.
It helps to set trade targets but it is up to companies to make the figures move upwards.