By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijan and Finland have a potential to expand their relations, especially the economic cooperation, where both states can benefit from the advantages of each other in the fields of oil cooperation, environmentally friendly technologies and forestry.
Paivi Peltokoski, Head of the Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Foreign Ministry of Finland, told Trend that Finland, one of the leading cleantech nations, is looking to develop innovative partnerships with Azerbaijan in spheres of energy efficiency and circular economy.
He said that the two states have excellent relations, and their common history dates back to the turn of the 20th century when a large Finnish community was involved in Azerbaijan’s oil industry.
Peltokoski added that along with trade, countries actively cooperate in such areas as cultural activities and education.
"For instance, The Finnish Meteorological Institute has just successfully concluded a project on upgrading the National Environmental Monitoring System of Azerbaijan. Finland and Azerbaijan are also partners through the EU Eastern Partnership framework,” she said.
Emphasizing that Finland, as part of the European Union, hails the positive developments in the EU-Azerbaijan relations, Paivi Peltokoski noted that the negotiations of the new framework agreement will broaden cooperation.
Speaking about the investment opportunities between the two countries, she stressed that Finns are proud to be known for their education system, well-functioning infrastructure, ICT, environmentally sustainable technologies and strong investment in innovation systems and added that Finland is a high-ranking country in terms of competitiveness, quality of export products, innovation and anti-corruption.
“All this makes Finland a good home for investments,” Peltokoski said.
She further pointed out that Finland, as an export-oriented nation, has a lot to offer in international markets.
"As a country with top-level basic research and highest engineers per capita, Finland has leading technology companies. In addition to manufacture and paper industry, we offer energy efficiency and cleantech solutions. We can share our knowhow in education, construction, biotechnology, bioeconomy and digitalization," head of the Unit stated.
Peltokoski said that presently, over 2,000 Finnish companies are active in the cleantech sector developing innovative clean technologies and new business models.
In addition, she noted that Finland is one of the leading countries in Europe by the share of renewable energy, which is more than 40 percent, and added that the country’s target is to raise this indicator to more than 50 percent during the next year through bioenergy and other emission-free renewable energy.
“This is the future. In short, Finland can offer sustainable solutions for Azerbaijan in its reforms aimed at diversifying the economy away from the dominant oil and gas sector," Peltokoski said.
Finland recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991, and on March 24, 1992, the diplomatic relations were established.
According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the foreign trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Finland amounted to $29.94 million in 2018, which is 56.23 percent more than in 2017.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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