With a population of almost 95M, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and part of the emerging ASEAN single market of 625M people. Vietnam’s middle class is set to double in the next five years. A dynamic internet market, the country has a large tech-savvy youth population, over 30M smartphones in use and a target to increase internet access rate from today’s 53% to 90%. Vietnam is also rapidly integrating into global networks. Application of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is expected to begin in 2018.
Doing business in Vietnam requires time, commitment and local partners, but the opportunities are notable in various sectors where European enterprises have a global competitive advantage. The time is ideal for Finnish companies with tested and proven solutions related to, e.g., smart city development, traffic, environment, digitalisation, e-government, education, fintech, food safety, health, manufacturing, maritime, innovation ecosystems and so on, to tailor their offerings for Vietnam. The large cities of Vietnam are especially keen to see Finnish solutions on the ground that support smarter development within a city context. They are also very interested in collaborating with Finnish cities directly in areas of mutual interest.
Vietnam aims to have 1 million enterprises by 2020 according to its Startup Nation program. Being the leading city in Vietnam in economic development, Ho Chi Minh city has emphasized the importance of promoting startups, entrepreneurship, and innovation with a target of becoming a smart city and one of the most active startup hubs in Southeast Asia.
With this ambitious goal, Ho Chi Minh city’s government organizes its first Saigon Innovation Week from Oct 23-28, including hundreds of innovative activities organized by community leaders. The highlight of the week is the Saigon Innovation Expo, which will be the largest innovation event in Vietnam, featuring over 3,000 participants, hundreds of speakers and 200 participating exhibitors. The flagship event will be organized from Oct 27-28 at White Palace, 194 Hoang Van Thu, Ward 9, Phu Nhuan District, HCMC.
Saigon Innovation Expo is proud to host three major interlinked events that highlight its goal and purpose, including HATCH! FAIR the Fifth, Slush Global Impact Accelerator Mekong event (Slush GIA Mekong) and Solutions for Smart Cities – a Finland 100 event. This collaboration marks the strong partnership between HCMC and Finland to support the ongoing shift from aid to trade in Finland-Vietnam relations as well to confirm Finland’s commitment to becoming a trusted and long-term partner to generate lasting impact in the Vietnamese innovation and business ecosystem. Furthermore, with the participation from HATCH!, the event will be able to bring professionalism to a whole new level.
HATCH! FAIR the Fifth is HATCH!’s annual flagship event, organized for the fifth time. HATCH! FAIR is the largest entrepreneurship conference and startup exhibition in Vietnam, hosting over 2,000 people from over 20 different countries.
Slush Global Impact Accelerator is a global initiative organized in cooperation between Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and its partners around the world to support newly founded companies which are trying to find solutions to global challenges and calling for investments in innovative and socially impactful companies. The local Slush GIA Mekong pitching event and conference covers the Mekong area countries, showcases the strongest impact companies and experts in the area and selects top startups to join the top-notch accelerator program and Slush 2017 in Helsinki.
Solutions for Smart Cities – a Finland 100 is built upon a newly agreed collaboration agenda between HCMC and Finland to promote the innovation ecosystem and build Finnish-Vietnamese business and innovation partnerships. The program aims to showcase top Finnish and other international solutions for city development and build upon strengthened collaboration between Finnish and Vietnamese city players and businesses.
IPP together with Team Finland in Vietnam is building a business delegation from Finland to attend the week, benefit from the tailored program and showcase their solutions. Participants will include among others representatives from 20 Finnish companies or Finnish-led consortia selected to participate in the Vietnam Market Access and Partnership Program, an initiative of IPP to bridge more Finnish companies to the Vietnamese market and tailor their tested solutions for local needs.
Current focus areas of collaboration between Finland and HCMC under a smart city umbrella:
- Smart City: Planning and Solutions
- Capacity Building for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Education and Ecosystem Development
- Business/ Institutional Collaboration (joint ventures/university collaboration)
10 priorities of Smart city plan of HCMC
- Food safety
- Environment/ Waste Management
- Flood Prevention
- Human Resource and Education
- Public Securities
- Administration Reform (E-government)
- Urban planning and construction
- Quality of Growth and Competitiveness
Who is it for?
- Companies participating in the Vietnam Market Access and Partnership Program
- Other companies with interest in Vietnam and offering in the focus areas of Finnish-Vietnamese collaboration
- City representatives
- Other public and private sector representatives relevant to the deepening partnership agenda between Finnish and Vietnamese cities
Why attend the Saigon Innovation Week
- Uncover and understand the rapidly developing Vietnamese market
- Make connections and find the right partners
- Prepare for long-term presence and collaboration with Vietnamese partners
- Participate in Vietnam’s largest startup and innovation event
- Showcase your solutions to a Vietnamese and Southeast Asian audience of 2000+ people
- Meet inspiring Southeast Asian leaders from tech, startups, mature businesses and cities
The Saigon Innovation Expo and Finnish delegation agenda for the full week with be shared on this website. Please contact IPP for inquiries and further information: