Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Vietnam were established on 20 February 1992 and the first ambassador to Estonia was accredited in 1997. The Vietnamese Ambassador Bui Van Khoa presented his credentials to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on 28 November 2013 and resides in Helsinki.
The Estonian Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Toomas Lukk presented his credentials to the President of Vietnam Trương Tấn Sang on 16 May 2013 and resides in Beijing. The Estonian Honorary Consul in Ho Chi Minh City is Mr. Do Van Muoi.
|November 2011||Prime Minister Andrus Ansip|
|May 2009||Foreign Minister Urmas Paet|
|June 2012||Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son|
|June 2006||Deputy Minister of Trade Le Danh Vinh|
On his 2011 official visit to Hanoi, the Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was accompanied by a business delegation. Within the framework of the visit, a business seminar took place and a cooperation protocol between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries was signed.
The only agreement in place between Estonia and Vietnam is the agreement for the protection of investments signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries on 24.09.2009 in New York. An additional protocol to the agreement made necessary by the Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 03.03.2011. The agreement is in force since 11.02.2012.
The agreement for granting bilateral visa-free entry to holders of diplomatic passports came into force on 20 May 2014.
Due to great geographical distance and cultural differences between the countries, economic relations between Estonia and Vietnam are modest. An active reform policy and rapid economic development have been the catalysts behind Vietnam’s activity in the direction of all the continents, but profound corruption and the inprofitable management of national firms have had a negative effect on the Vietnamese market. Estonia supports the strengthening of economic relations and increasing mutual economic openness with South-East Asian countries, expressly including Vietnam.
Vietnam ranks 46th among Estonia’s trade partners. No significant reciprocal investments have been made.
Main articles of export in the first half of 2015 (6.8 million euros):
- Measurement, inspection, and other precision devices – 66%
- Wood and wood products – 12%
- Ammunition and gun parts – 6%
Main articles of import in the first half of 2015 (3.6 million euros)
- Plastic and plastic products – 43%
- Fruit, berries and nuts – 8%
- Fish and crustaceans – 7%
For more detailed information on trade, please refer to Statistics Estonia
Education and Culture
In Vietnam, Estonia has developed a positive reputation of being a small country with a highly developed IT sector, and Estonian institutions of higher education collaborate with Vietnamese universities.
In 2013, 29 Vietnamese students came to gain experience and medical knowledge at Tartu University Hospital. Members of University of Tartu’s Faculty of Medicine are working at Hue University (Dai Hoc Huế, the regional university of Central Vietnam) - according to them, an increase in the number medical students can be attributed to Estonians teaching at the university.
Since 2012, EVMED (Co-operation between Estonia and Vietnam in the Field of Medical Science) has been organized in the framework of a project by University of Tartu’s Faculty of Medicine (the project is part of the Vietnam-oriented co-operation of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency). With support from this same main sponsor, the research project DIOXMED (research of the content of dioxins in the food chain of humans) was launched and is led by the University of Tartu. In the aftermath of the USA-Vietnam War (1959-1973), it has not been possible to analyze or estimate the direct and indirect effects of dioxin on people.There is a lack of human resources, know-how, technology and state funding to conduct research with modern genomic methods. Despite numerous studies in this field, the actual effects of dioxins on human health are not fully understood in Europe either (then again, the level of contamination is lower in Europe than in Vietnam). The co-operative relationship between Estonian and Vietnamese doctors and scientists enables a bilateral exchange of experiences and the diversification and internationalization of scientific research. In Estonia, there are good conditions for scientific studies (in terms of both technical possibilities as well as human resources), but there is a lack of biological sample material, especially of organisms contaminated by dioxins. In Vietnam, the necessary sample materials are present, but there is no capability to conduct studies.
Most recently, an Estonian delegation visited Hue in November of 2014. The University of Tartu and Hanoi Medical University signed a cooperation agreement for the creation of a Vietnamese National Biobank / Genome Centre.
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