The Finnish Government took the decision to recognise the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as early as on the 28th of December 1972. A joint communiqué on the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between the two governments was issued on the 25th of January 1973. This was two days before the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace In Vietnam was signed.
In 1973, the Government of Finland also took a decision to include Vietnam on the list of long-term partner countries of the Finnish development co-operation. This decision soon materialised into concrete action. The Finnish Embassy in Hanoi was set up in 1974. Finland confirmed its relations with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam after the unification of the country in 1975. In 2013, the countries celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with many events organized over the year.
Soon after the diplomatic relations were established Finland and Vietnam started negotiations on long-standing development assistance. From 1979 until 2012, Finland has assisted Vietnam with approximately 260 million euro, including a grant aid of 7,5 million euro in 2012. Taking together grant aid and soft loans, Finland’s support was altogether 22,2 million euro in 2012.
Finland concentrates its support to Vietnam now on two sectors: 1) natural resources management and climate change and 2) knowledge society. Three on-going major programmes develop Vietnamese water supply and sanitation sector, forestry and knowledge society. As Vietnam has seen impressive economic growth and declining poverty, Finnish development cooperation with Vietnam will decrease in the coming years, and the countries are gradually shifting to new forms of cooperation.
Trade and investment relations between Finland and Vietnam are still rather modest. The bilateral two-way trade between the two countries amounted to approximately 212 million euro in 2012. However, there has been a clear increase in the trade figures in recent years, with Finnish exports to Vietnam growing by 13 percent and Vietnamese exports to Finland by 18 percent from the year 2011.
The promotion of mutual trade and investment is a shared objective of Finland and Vietnam. The rapid economic growth of Vietnam, coupled with structural reforms of the economy, is a good basis for developing trade and investment relations. Vietnam's membership in WTO has further increased the attractiveness of Vietnam as a trading and investment partner.
Finland and Vietnam organize frequent high-level visits to each country. These visits offer possibilities to exchange views on broad range of issues. In addition to development co-operation and trade and investment, topics such as human rights, good governance and rule of law have been on the agenda.
The Finnish Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala visited Vietnam in January 2013 with a clean-tech business delegation. In April 2013, the Audit Committee of the Parliament of Finland visited Vietnam. The President of Vietnam Nguyễn Minh Triết made an official visit to Finland in May 2010. In addition, representatives of several parliamentary committees of the Vietnamese National Assembly have visited Finland recently.
Vietnam opened its Embassy in Helsinki at the end of 2005. The setting up of the Embassy is an important step towards consolidating the relations between the two countries, especially in promoting trade and investment relations between Finland and Vietnam.
Embassy of Vietnam in Finland
Kulosaarentie 12, 00570 Helsinki
Tel. (+358 9) 622 9900
Fax. (+358 9) 622 99022
Mobile: 050 544 8803/04
050 544 8804
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00–12.00 and 14.00–17.00.