Finland's Salo City Mayor Antti Rantakokko and Da Nang People's Committee Chairman Van Huu Chien on Nov. 2 signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation and friendly relations between the two cities.

The two sides agreed to boost ties in scientific research, trade and investment, with an emphasis on education and vocational training, communications and information technology, among other high-tech areas.

Representatives from Salo's human resources, commercial services and shipbuilding areas accompanied the mayor to study business opportunities overseas.

"Salo's vision is to create opportunities in high technology, trade, social welfare and education sectors," Antti said, noting that some of Finland 's electronic production companies and universities were ready to sign agreements in these areas.

Chien suggested that seafood will be a potential area for co-operation. Nguyen Thuy Anh, an official from the local Department of Foreign Affairs, said Da Nang expects Finish partners to recommend that Nokia Co invest in the central city.

Both city leaders said they believed that Salo's tradition of development and Da Nang 's new strategies will facilitate a good relationship between the two sides in the future.

This year, Finland agreed to provide 1.53 billion VND (about 73,000 USD) for projects that will renew technologies and assist fishermen in Da Nang .

Finland 's Salo Educational Association and Turku University of Applied Sciences also signed memoranda with local Dong A and Da Nang universities to exchange professors and students.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Finland has no direct investment projects in Da Nang , while bilateral import-export values remain limited and have declined in the last few years.

In 2008, Da Nang exported 334,000 USD of goods to Finland and imported 12 million USD. Bilateral trade values fell to only 19,000 USD in 2009 and about 61,000 USD last year.

Salo is situated in the south-west of Finland with key industries of electronic production, wireless information transmission, metal plating and timber processing, according to the department. /.