Vietnam learns from Finland how innovation serves growth

16:33 | 22/10/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnam has all the basic elements to promote innovation. However the country needs to build a culture of risk acceptance and encourage start-ups, former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho told Vietnamese policymakers in a September 18 speech in Hanoi.

vietnam learns from finland how innovation serves growth

Aho also recommended close link between businesses and research centers as an important element in promoting innovation, as well as investment in high-tech.

Aho’s presentation focused on Finland’s experience in economic development based on innovation. The address was part of the Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Program to improve the capacity of Vietnamese policymakers.

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh told participants at the event that innovation is an essential tool to improve labor productivity and increase competitiveness. He said Finland’s success in economic development based on innovation is a valuable lesson for Vietnam.

The Global Innovation Index and Global Competitiveness Index rank Finland among the world’s top 10 countries. The country is also ranked high in indexes rating the efficiency of public organizations, tertiary education, corporate innovation and public-private partnership.

The Global Innovation Index 2017 report compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University and INSEAD, the Business School for the World, shows that Vietnam has climbed 12 places to rank 47th among 127 countries and economies. In particular, Vietnam has risen to lead the group of middle and lower-income economies in terms of the global innovation index this year, compared to its third place in 2016. Vietnam also ranks above Thailand within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

Vietnam has made progress in basic research on a number of new science and multi-sector technologies, namely space, nuclear and some areas of natural science like mathematics and theoretical physics to achieve high rankings in the ASEAN region, the minister noted.

However, the country is still far from Finland’s achievements in terms of translating innovation into economic development. Aho met with leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology to discuss science-technology development policies used for economic development.

Aho is also former Chairman of the Finnish Innovation Fund under the Parliament of Finland and former Vice President of Nokia Corporation.

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said strengthening investment in science and technology, promoting innovation and training high-quality human resources are strategic breakthroughs to ensure Vietnam’s sustainable development.

Quynh Nga