There are many reasons for Vietnam to become an important partner of Finnish companies. First of all, Vietnam is a developing country, huge labour market with low cost. There are many business opportunities for Finnish companies to enter the market. Second, Vietnam is located in a strategic location in Asia. The national economy has been growing with average annual growth of 5-6%Việt Nam, and about 10% in big cities such as Hanoi, Hochiminh, Danang, etc. Vietnam has young population, 2/3 of the population is under age of 35. Vietnam has low labor cost (10% lower than that of China). In general, Vietnam is a very attractive market to foreign investors who want to develop their business globally.
Open opportunities for Finland and Vietnam
In order to promote trade relationship between Finland and Vietnam, Business Partnership seminars were held in 11 cities in Vietnam. Many Finnish working teams have been established to help Finnish companies enter Vietnamese markets, find local partners and business opportunities.
Why is Vietnamese an alluring market and investment environment to Finnish companies? Finnish companies produce many products and services that are in high demand in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam is also an important export partner to Finland. At present, there are many Finnish invested projects in Vietnam; for example, clean water treatment (WSPST III), forestry (FORMIS II), Innovation partnership (IPP I, IPP II).
However, the numbers are still modest. According to statistics, there are currently around 80-100 Finnish companies in operation in Vietnam. Finnish export to Vietnam is 89 million euros (increased by 20%) and import is 136 million euros (-1.4%). Major export goods are machines, domestic applicances, forestry produces. Import goods include shoes, furniture, clothes and textiles, office stationeries. In addition, Nokia has factory in Vietnam, direct Helsinki Hanoi flights were opened.
Governments support trade cooperation
Finland established Finland Vietnam Team to promote trade cooperation between Finnish and Vietnamese companies, provide consultation about legal and investment issues. The promotion is very strong in order to help Finnish companies to grow in Vietnamese market. At the same time, it aims to help Vietnamese companies have more information about doing business with Finland. Those organizations are IPP, VCCI.
Finland Vietnam Business Forum 2017
The Finland Vietnam Busines Forum was held in Helsinki, Finland on 03 May 2017. Attendants were representatives from Finpro, FinCharm and more than twenty Finnish companies in various sectors such as industry, finance, real estates, import and export.
Vietnamese Ambassdor to Finland Madam Pham Thi Ngoc Bich presented about potentialities and strength of Vietnamese economy, FDI projects in Vietnam, governmental incentives for foreign investors, key projects including infrastructure construction, clean energy, exports, etc. The Ambassador emphasized the strength of Vietnam as an emerging market with young population and rich natural resources. In addition, the Vietnamese government encourages foreign investment to Vietnam through many favorable policies and application of administrative reforms. At present, Vietnam is the most active member of Asian countries, signing FTA. Finland is also a member of EU FTA. The agreement will be approved and in valid from 2018, which is a good sign for foreign investors.
To many Finnish companies, Vietnam is still a new market despite of many opportunities. Finnish investors also showed many concerns about the challenges of doing business in Vietnam, how to deal with the challenges and what the Vietnamese government has done to encourage FDI.