Finland launches national action plan on Latin America and Caribbean
Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just released a new national Latin America and Caribbean Action Plan that emphasizes the increasing importance of the region to the Nordic country.
Created “to outline Finland’s objectives and actions in the region,” the white paper focuses on a pragmatic approach to deepening long-held ties, and comes on the heels of the EU-CELAC Action Plan adopted at the recent summit in Santiago, Chile on January 26-27. The European Union (EU) is the largest foreign investor in Latin America and its second largest trading partner (15%) behind the United States (35%).
According to Finland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja, LatAm and Caribbean governments are important political partners “in economic and innovation cooperation, as well as in solving global problems.”
No doubt, the potential for increased trade and foreign direct investment within the region is high. With a combined population of 588 million across 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries, Finland’s action plan outlines excellent opportunities for cooperation in a number of sectors including renewable energy, the environment, offshore industry, science and innovation, as well as education and cultural exports.
With its strategic location at the gateway to South America, below the hurricane belt, Trinidad and Tobago offers interesting investment opportunities for Finnish companies looking to expand to Latin America. Our low cost energy and robust infrastructure make shipbuilding and maritime industry potential high-yield investments from an ideal base from which to serve Latin American markets.
New growth sectors such as ICT — in which Trinidad and Tobago is a frontrunner, having ranked better than most LatAm countries at 63 out of 138 in the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011: Transformations 2.0 are also an excellent pairing with Finland’s reputation for high-tech innovation.
Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja (second from left) at the launch of Finland's national action plan.