Cooperation between Vietnam and Finland dates back to 1973, when the two countries established diplomatic relations. I assumed my work as the Finnish ambassador to Vietnam on 1st September 2011, and I am honored to continue the efforts of my predecessors in deepening relations between Vietnam and Finland.
In spite of the long distance between the countries, Finland is relatively well known here. We are happy about the positive image of Finland in Vietnam, with some of the main features being development cooperation, excellent rankings in the OECD’s PISA education assessments, as well as high technology companies and fine design.
Since 1979 Finland has provided about 250 million euros of development assistance to Vietnam, including about 17 million euros of bilateral development cooperation in 2011 (estimated). The three main sectors Finland is currently supporting are 1) water supply and sanitation, 2) forestry and 3) knowledge society. In the future Finland will also stress increasingly the importance of environment and climate change related issues. Concessional credits and Fund for Local Cooperation are some of the many development cooperation instruments which Finland uses to support Vietnam.
Trade between Vietnam and Finland reached 179 million euros in 2010, with a surplus to the benefit of Vietnam. About 60 Finnish companies have established a presence here. We estimate that there are about 110 Finns living in Vietnam and about 5000 ethnic Vietnamese living in Finland. About 8000 Finns visit Vietnam yearly.
Offering reliable consular services is a vital task of our embassy. We manage passport, visa and notary services and give assistance to Finnish citizens in distress. People and businesses are assisted not only by the embassy in Hanoi, but also by our Honorary Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City. Businesses are also assisted by Finpro offices both in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City.
We provide expertise and information to all who are interested in Finland and in Finnish-Vietnamese relations. We also provide useful information on our homepages to Finnish and Vietnamese travelers.
In order to be able to help in crisis situations, I encourage all Finns staying in Vietnam to report their contact information to us. Besides using these web-pages, the embassy will use Facebook and e-mail to provide information in crisis situations. We also serve our customers by phone and at embassy’s facilities. You can help us to develop our services by giving us your feedback.
I wish you welcome to our web-pages!