FAISALABAD
Finland’s Ambassador in Pakistan Rauli Suikkanen said that promotion of trade and economic ties between Pakistan and his country on top of his agenda.
In this connection, he said, Pak-Finland Business Summit is being arranged in near future. He was addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said, “Finland Embassy in Pakistan was closed due to financial constraints in Oct, 2012. However, I am performing my diplomatic duties as Roving Ambassador . It is my third visit to Pakistan but it is for the first time I am visiting Faisalabad.”
He said that the objective of his visit was to promote bilateral trade ties in addition to promotion of cultural activities. He particularly mentioned a recently signed deal between the museum associations of both the countries. The ambassador said that GDP growth rate of Pakistan 3.6 percent last year was appreciable and beyond the expectation and Pakistan was now on the right path to progress in all spheres of life. He said that Finland is also making efforts to play its role in the development of Pakistan with enhanced investment by Finnish companies. He said that two companies are conducing market survey and expected to set up viable industries in Karachi and Lahore.
Regarding appointment of Honorary Consul General in Faisalabad, he said that currently two honorary consul generals are working in Karachi and Lahore; the third is expected to be appointed in Islamabad. “Then we would think to appoint of another Honorary Consul General in Faisalabad,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, FCCI President Engr Suhail Bin Rashid said, “We welcome the eagerness of Finish government to strengthen the cultural ties and newly established cooperation linking Finnish and Pakistani Museum Associations where Faisalabad’s Lyallpur Museum was a key player. Pakistan and Finland have being enjoying good bilateral and diplomatic relations since 1951. In fiscal year 2012, bilateral trade stood at US $ 141.2 million almost in favour of both countries as Pakistan exported US $ 71.23 million worth goods to Finland , while imports stood at US $  69.97 million. “
He said that ample opportunities of joint ventures exist between the two countries. Pakistan is the most promising land in the region for investment, he added and said Finnish corporations can invest in Pakistan while expanding their businesses across Pakistan and beyond. He said that nearly 400 Finnish companies are currently operating in South Asian region and had made substantial investment in the last 10 years in that part of the world.
He hoped that that more Finnish investors would divert their attention towards Pakistan in future to enhance Finnish investment in Pakistan which currently stood around $ 3.8 million in  2013 (July-March).
He proposed frequent exchanges of trade delegations, identification and trade of more products where both the countries have competitive edge, Single country exhibitions in both the countries and tapping other areas of joint ventures and investment like technology transfer and up-gradation, information technology and collaboration in technical and vocational  training. Lyallpur Museum Director Attique also addressed the participants about the cooperation between Museum Associations of two countries.