‎Finland’s Foreign Trade Minister to visit Nigeria

Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, (Photo credit: Embassy of Finland)
Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, (Photo credit: Embassy of Finland)

As part of activities to mark the 100th year anniversary of Finland, the country’s Minister for Foreign Trade, Kai Mykkänen, will visit Nigeria in mid-November to strengthen business relations between the two countries.

Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, said in a statement on Sunday that Mr. Mykkänen would arrive Nigeria with a business delegation of more than 20 Finnish companies, representing areas such as Power, ICT, Telecommunications, CleanTech, Health and Wellbeing, and Education.

“The timing of the visit is of particular significance, as it takes place during the year that marks Finland’s 100th Anniversary as an independent nation,” the statement added.

Ms. Suomela-Chowdhury said the visit is a clear indication of the strengthening business relations between Finland and Nigeria, and a great opportunity to render them yet more dynamic.

She added that many important Finnish companies are already doing business in Nigeria and previous high-level visits and business delegations bear witness to the numerous possibilities for cooperation.

“Due to its unrivalled size and potential, Nigeria is seen by many companies in Finland as the obvious business destination in Africa,” Ms. Suomela-Chowdhury said.

Nigeria and Finland have a recent history of exchange of business relations.

In 2010, the then Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development led an official trade mission to Nigeria, and Finnish companies participated at the Nordic Power Sector Delegation later in the year.

Two years later, Olusegun Aganga, then Nigeria’s Minister for Trade and Investment, made a counter-visit to Helsinki accompanied by 20 Nigerian companies.

During the 16th Meeting of Nordic and African Foreign Ministers in Abuja, last June, Ms. Suomela-Chowdhury called for increased trade relations and business exchanges between the two countries.

Several Finnish multinationals, such as Nokia and Wartsila, have been doing business in Nigeria and Ms. Suomela-Chowdhury said ‎expanding trade between Finland and Nigeria would offer opportunities for true win-win partnerships that would benefit both countries.

“Examples of the many areas where Finland has strong know-how and expertise, include renewable energy, waste and water treatment, telecommunications, digitalization, security, health and wellbeing, and education – all areas that have great relevance also to the Nigerian government and the private sector.

“For Finnish companies, the visit will be an excellent chance to present their strengths, while learning more about the possibilities that this unique market offers.

While in Nigeria, Mr. Mykkänen is expected to meet high-level decision makers as well as representatives of the private sector, to explore ways of further promoting trade between the two countries, the Finnish Embassy said.

“The Minister will stop in Abuja and in Lagos, and representatives from across the country will be invited to a networking event hosted by the Ambassador.

“The Minister and business delegation will also interact with the local start-up scene, with which Finland earlier this year already implemented the ‘CodeBus Africa’ project, with the aim of promoting involvement of girls in particular in ICT and computer coding.”

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