Nordic countries share experiences on digital age adaption
  • | | February 19, 2019 11:49 PM
Four Nordic Embassies in Vietnam including Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on Wednesday teamed up with the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) to host a major seminar on “Continuity and Change in the Nordic Society Model – Adapting to a Digital Age”.

Participants at the seminar

The seminar which was held to celebrate the Nordic Day 2019, spotlighted the four Nordic Ambassadors to Vietnam and four prominent Nordic experts, including Mr Adam Lebech - Deputy Director General of the Danish Agency for Digitalisation, Ms Anna Sundstrom - Secretary General, Sweden’s Olof Palme International Centre, Dr. Erkki Tuomioja - member of Finnish Parliament and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Silvija Seres - a mathematician and technology investor from Norway.

The seminar also attracts participation from 120 Vietnamese researchers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders representing HCMA, key ministries, institutions, business associations and social organisations.

Built up from the successful workshop on “The Nordic Socio-Economic Model – Achievements and Lessons Learnt” last year, this seminar takes a deeper look into the Nordic region’s digital transformation process.

In his opening remarks at the seminar, Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh Academy of Politics, Associate Professor, Doctor Nguyen Viet Thao affirms, “Being aware of the global trend in the context of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, Vietnam has been promoting digital applications for the country’s development. It is the first priority of the Government of Vietnam to develop e-government and smart cities. Effectively utilising the digital data and knowledge would expose Vietnam to substantial opportunities to get closer to the world’s development level."

“All Nordic countries are strongly dependant on international free trade and on a functional and operational system. Internally, nations face issues such as aging of the population and the length of working career. Nevertheless, Nordic societies have also good prerequisites for finding sustainable solutions since the existing institutions are constantly recalibrated in order to adapt for the challenges of the current time. Digitalisation is very important part of that”, said Ambassador of Finland, H.E. Mr Kari Kahiluoto in his opening remarks on behalf of the four Nordic countries.

All Nordic countries are in the process of implementing national strategies related to digitalisation. While these policies have similar focus on digital public services, supporting growth and innovation in business and ensuring digital security, each country faces its own difficult questions and has to address them in varying ways.

Through their presentations, the four Nordic speakers provided the audience with an overview of how the regional authorities are implementing national and regional digital strategies, and the different types of actors (public sectors, private companies, civil society) that are key in the digital transformation of the region.

“We pay a lot of attention to human capital development and the Nordic region has one of the most highly educated populations in the world. In our open and connected societies, we believe that individuals should be given opportunities to develop, take responsibility and dare to challenge prevailing norms and structures. Human rights apply online as they do offline. We want to create fertile ground for people to be free-thinking, tech-savvy, dynamic citizens who contribute to creativity, innovation and progress,” noted Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Mr Pereric Högberg.

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Högberg also emphasized that “Separately, the Nordic countries are small, but together we make up the 11th largest economy in the world. The Nordic Region is innovative, particularly in welfare, education, entrepreneurship, sustainability and research. This has set strong foundations for us to develop smart societies. We will continue to work closely with other countries including Vietnam to find smart solutions to address challenges and opportunities during our digital age”.

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