Evaluation: Finland-Vietnam transition process successfully converts relations from development co-operation to trade

NordenBladet — An evaluation of the transition in co-operation between Finland and Vietnam has found that the transition phase led to a reduction in development co-operation and growth in other types of co-operation. Trade and investment have become important instruments for achieving development goals and building a mutually beneficial partnership.

Street view in Hanoi
Photo: Florian Wehde

Vietnam is an interesting country from an economic and trading perspective. “Finns can learn something from the entrepreneurial mindset of Vietnamese people. Everything does not always have to be perfect, but you can make progress when you have the passion and make an effort,” explained former Commercial Counsellor to Vietnam Eija Tynkkynen in a webinar address. Tynkkynen now serves as China Country Manager at Business Finland.

A recently published external evaluation commissioned by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs examined the successes and drawbacks of the transition phase, and studied how development co-operation contributed to the transition towards a diversified partnership.

The evaluation findings were presented in a webinar on 16 June 2021. Under-Secretary of State Elina Kalkku pointed out in her opening remarks that Vietnam has been one of Finland’s most important development co-operation partners for almost four decades. Following tremendous economic development in Vietnam, a process of change in development co-operation began in 2008.

“The transition process ultimately took 12 years, and sought mutually beneficial co-operation and involvement of the private sector,” Kalkku continued.

“Relations between the countries are still vibrant after a decade of transition”



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