Nordic countries team up in China's tech trade

Updated: 2013-06-19 07:47

By He Dan in Espoo, Finland (China Daily)

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Nordic countries have joined an international race to team up with China in exploring science and technology opportunities.

"Countries with a tradition of innovation gradually take the lead in social and economic development, which in turn make them internationally competitive," said Huang Xing, China's ambassador to Finland.

Information and communication technology has boomed in China during the past two decades, he said and the country has earmarked the sector for greater funding.

The ambassador sees the increasing demand for expanding social network services, digital television, e-commerce and cloud computing as key areas of exchange between China and Nordic countries.

Huang made the remarks at Focus on China, a high-level forum on international cooperation in higher education and ICT held in Espoo, the second-largest city in Finland, on Monday.

China's spending on research and development reached 868.7 billion yuan ($139.2 billion) in 2011, a rise of 23 percent year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance.

Earlier this year, Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, estimated the public expenditure in this field passed 1 trillion yuan in 2012 as the government has been working to build an innovation-driven economy.

China's R&D spending will catch up with that of the US by 2020 if the growth rate continues, said Jaani Heinonen, head of the enterprise and innovation department at the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, who chaired the forum on Monday.

"We need to understand better what's happening in China and need to strengthen cooperation with China so we can take our share and have a profitable part of that cooperation," he told China Daily.

Finland regards ICT, gaming-related industry, nano technology, new materials and clean energy as key areas to boost cooperation with China, he added.

Finland and Sweden have invested a great deal into expanding their activities and developing competitive networks in China.

For instance, based on a bilateral agreement on cooperation in science and technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology in China and the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, or VINNOVA, agreed to establish a program for joint funding of the Sino-Swedish cooperative research projects.

In 2008, "IMT-Advanced and Beyond" was selected as the field of research for the program.

It is also a joint initiative involving mobile communication research between Sweden and China, said Ciro Vasquez, program manager for the bilateral cooperation between Sweden and China under the VINNOVA.

(China Daily USA 06/19/2013 page5)