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Scientific webinar “E-government in national and local governance: Finnish experiences and policy implications for Vietnam”

(LLCT) - In the afternoon of November 3rd, 2020, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Finland in Vietnam held a webinar entitled "E-government in national and local governance: Finnish experiences and policy implications for Vietnam” in Hanoi, Vietnam and Helsinki, Finland.

Overview of the webinar

Assoc. Prof, Dr. Hoang Phuc Lam, Deputy Secretary of the Academy’s Party Committee, Vice President of the HCMA; Mr. Kari Kahiluoto, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Finland to Vietnam; Assoc. Prof, Dr. Hoang Van Nghia, General Director of Department of International Cooperation under HCMA co-chaired the webinar.

Giving the opening speech to the webinar, Assoc. Prof, Dr. Hoang Phuc Lam, Deputy Secretary of the Academy’s Party Committee, Vice President of the HCMA stated that Vietnam and Finland have officially established diplomatic relations from January 25th, 1973 and over the past 40 years, the cooperation relationship between the two countries has been increasingly expanded and strengthened in many aspects. On that basis, over the past years, the cooperation between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and its Finnish partners, especially the Embassy of Finland in Vietnam, has been strongly enhanced through many practical and effective joint activities such as organizing conferences, seminars, scientific exchanges, academic exchange and cooperation, sharing experiences, etc, thereby positively contributing to improving the quality of the Academy’s training and fostering, scientific research and advisory role, policy advising for the Party and the State.

Assoc. Prof, Dr. Hoang Phuc Lam affirmed that with the explosion of the fourth industrial revolution, science - technology has become one of the most important and key elements for the development of a country/nation, including national public governance. Currently, Vietnam is building and implementing e-Government in the entire public governance apparatus, at both central and local levels. However, the practical process still faces many difficulties and challenges, especially in mastering technology. Meanwhile, Finland is one of the leading countries in the field of building and effectively applying e-government to national and local governance, creative innovation. Hence, Vice President of the Academy suggested delegates attending the seminar, especially experts from Finland, to exchange ideas about and clarify the process of building and implementing e-government in Finland, successes and difficulties, notes that Vietnam should pay attention during realizing e-government to both take advantages of technology and protect information and national interests.

Expressing sincere thanks to the close cooperation of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics over the past years, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Finland to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto emphasized the importance of e-government in local and national governance, especially ensuring the efficient operation of e-government in daily work. Over the past years, Finland has been deeply involved in the digitization and implementation of e-government with many initiatives for effective and useful applications in different fields, promoting the role of both private and public sectors. Ambassador Kari Kahiluoto believed that, with the practical sharing of two speakers from the Government of Finland at the webinar, the delegates will be provided with a panorama of Finland's e-government. From there, there are open suggestions for Vietnam in accordance with its characteristics and reality.

From Helsinki, Finland, Ms Maria Nikkila, Head of Finnish Government Digitalization Unit, said that public governance in Finland has been implemented from the central government, to 6 regional government agencies, 20 regional councils and joint municipal councils, 310 geographic administrative units throughout the country. The process of building e-government and digital transformation in Finland has been done on the basis of consultation among the agencies in the public governance apparatus, thereby identifying specific goals and priorities, building and completing institutions for that process.

The Government of Finland is currently finalizing its public governance strategy with a core commitment to serving the people, increasing the presence of public governance in daily life in both national languages, and improving digital accessibility, encouraging the use of simple language in administration. Government agencies have an obligation to provide high-quality digital services that are easily accessible to people, enterprises and other legal entities; Enterprises and organizations are also required to digitize their transactions with government agencies. In particular, cooperation and interoperability are essential goals in Finland, between the government and the private sector; privacy and data security are essential components in providing digital services with the precondition of trust.

Discussing at the webinar with the speech "New trends in digital transformation in Finland: information policy - a new policy area", Mr. Olli-Pekka Rissanen, expert on information policy and data strategy from the Finnish Ministry of Finance affirmed that, in the process of digital transformation and public administration development, information policy is a new trend, contributing to converting data and pure information into knowledge and understanding with greater values, bringing about the greatest benefits and efficiency from the process of using and exploiting data.

According to Mr. Olli-Pekka Rissanen, over the past years, a lot of Finnish government data has been opened and more data will be released to improve the value of data use in society, such as Avoindata.fi - a service for Finnish open data and standards, guidelines for interoperability; The Finnish Transport Agency supports transportation in Finland by making data publicly available to the public, and the like.

Based on the speeches of the speakers from Finland, the participants of the webinar had candid idea exchanges and discussions on Finnish experiences and practices in building e-government and digital transformation, especially the program to promote digitalization, the application of digitalization, digital services in government agencies, the confidentiality and continuity of digital services, and so on.

In recent years, Finland has consistently ranked at the top of rankings for the quality and efficiency of e-government, such as the 2019 European Union (EU) ranking for online public services (DESI 2019), the 2016 EU e-government development rankings. Accordingly, Finland is rated as a country with top business environment quality, the best presence for the latest technology, the fastest start to business, the most advanced digital economy in EU, etc. Currently, Finland has deployed online tax card services, electronic prescriptions, online personal health records, 100% of students registering online nationwide.

BBT (Source: HCMA)

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