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South Ostrobothnia and Hanoi deepen ties

Research and development issues were discussed on a visit to Hanoi University of Science and Technology.Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia

A delegation of organisations from South Ostrobothnia has renewed a co-operation agreement with the Vietnamese city of Hanoi.

The Finnish delegation and Hanoi renewed their agreement from 2008 in January, this time also agreeing to negotiate on concrete activities on an annual basis.

“Regardless of the size differences, the representatives of the city and party seemed to be genuinely in favour of deepening co-operation,” said Antti Saartenoja, Deputy Regional Mayor at the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, in a release.

Education was identified as an area where collaboration could be increased through seminars and student and expert exchange programmes such as ERASMUS. There is also a need to develop research and development co-operation in fields such as cleantech,  digitalisation and waste management.

“Half of the population of Vietnam is under 35 years old and ageing is also a problem in the country, when ‘the golden age’ ends and people start to retire,” commented Helli Kitinoja, senior advisor at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

“The need for highly educated workers is growing in Vietnam and opening up possibilities for education exports.”

The discussions between the parties also touched on tourism and labour issues. The Finnish delegation consisted of representatives from the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia; the South Ostrobothnian Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment; the South Ostrobothnian Chamber of Commerce; Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences; and regional education provider Sedu.

By: Samuli Ojala