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The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) co organized a seminar dubbed as “Bridging Business Between Philippines-Finland” with the Finnish Business Partnership Program (FinnPartnership) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Finland at the BOI Penthouse recently (14 September 2016).

In collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Management Bureau and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Stockholm, the seminar cum business matching activity aims to connect as many local companies to do business with Finnish companies through trade, joint venture partnerships, investments, sub-contracting and/or outsourcing.

Trade Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Nora Terrado who welcomed the Finnish and local companies in the event said the Philippines is honored to host such business partnership program as the activity further strengthens the economic and commercial relations between the two countries.

“Your visit to the Philippines has come at a perfect time.  Our country is currently as its best economic performance and improved business optimism,” Undersecretary Terrado said, citing figures from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which indicated a 95 percent increase in the country’s foreign direct investment in the first six months of 2016 to US$4.2 billion from only US$2.2 billion recorded for the same period last year. 

“The bilateral relationship between The Philippines and Finland has been anchored on a solid foundation. Through the years, Finland has actively engaged the Philippines not only in providing aid, but more importantly by facilitating the flow of trade and investments. Through our continued partnership and cooperation, there is more room for bright opportunities to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries especially in the IT-BPM, manufacturing, agribusiness, and clean technology sectors,” she added.

Undersecretary Terrado said several initiatives have also been implemented to further enhance and strengthen our bilateral relations. The BOI, through its International Investments Promotion Service, received Finnish delegates from five companies interested in finance/equity market and also in service and maintenance sector in 2014.  In 2015, BOI also facilitated a Finnish delegation visit headed by Mr. Mikko Mursula, CEO of FIM Asset Management, and assisted a Finnish IT-BPM company with its interest in setting up its ASEAN hub in the Philippines.

In photo is Trade Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Nora Terrado (middle, fourth from left) in a handshake with Mr. Teemu Laakkonen, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland in Malaysia, who also covers The Philippines  at the Bridging Business Between of PH-Finland.  Joining them (from left to right) are Mr. Joni Koro of the  Nordic Chamber; Ms. Siv Ahlberg of the FinnPartnership Program; Honorary Consul General Ramon  Ilusorio of the Republic of Finland; Ms. Birgit Nevala of the Finnpartnership and Mr. Hannu Virtanen of Arctic Forests Products Inc.

During the program, Deputy Head of Mission Teemu Laakkonen of the Embassy of Finland in Malaysia, who also covers the Philippines, presented a brief profile of his country while Siv Ahlberg, Programme Director of FinnPartnership delivered a presentation on the business opportunities in Finland, focusing on clean technology, ICT, game development, healthcare and renewable energy.

The participants also discussed their businesses and proposals and the kinds of partnership/joint venture collaboration they are interested in from Finland. Hannu Virtanen, Managing Director of Artic Forest Products Inc., delivered the testimonial of his Finnish firm’s operations in the Philippines. 

The seminar in Makati was the second leg of the FinnPartneship and Finland MOFA’s mission in the country.  Early on, their officials were in Cebu to also explore the business opportunities in the region.

Finn partnership managed by Finnfund is a Finnish business partnership program that promotes business cooperation between companies in Finland and in developing countries.

It offers and provides advisory/guidance services, matchmaking service and financial support for business activities of Finnish companies in developing countries. Finnfund is responsible for the management and implementation of the programme on behalf of the Finland MOFA. The Financial support covers for the planning, development and training phases of the projects aimed at establishing long term commercial and investment activity in developing countries.

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