Minister Skinnari to visit Paris and Stuttgart

Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit France and Germany on 4–8 October 2021. In Paris, Minister Skinnari will attend the annual OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and meet key French ministers and business representatives. In Stuttgart, Skinnari will participate in the business forum on the future of the automotive industry. The programme includes meetings with key German companies, and decision-makers from the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The theme of the Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level is Shared Values: Building a Green and Inclusive Future. The event also marks the Organisation’s 60th anniversary. Today, the OECD provides a venue for building standards suitable for the value base of democratic, open societies, and for the Member countries to learn from each other by exchanging best practices. Cross-cutting climate work, international corporate taxation reform and issues related to data management are a few examples of areas in which the OECD’s efforts have wide-ranging global relevance.

“One of the OECD’s strongest asset is a shared value base. We must ensure that it stays at the heart of the organisation’s work going forward. It is the only way to maintain high quality in the OECD’s activities and in the standards it produces, and thereby to safeguard the Member countries’ interests,” Minister Skinnari says.

The purpose of the visits to France and Germany is to create favourable conditions for cooperation in recovery projects, and to facilitate Finnish companies’ market access. France is the seventh largest economy in the world. It is currently making sizeable industrial investments in future technologies and carbon-free energy, including green hydrogen applications. “Finnish companies can offer significant expertise in the focus areas identified by France. Sectors that hold particular promise include health, digital transition and solutions supporting the green transition. It is important that our companies actively strive to capitalise on these opportunities,” says Minister Skinnari.

The German state of Baden Württemberg is a major automotive industry hub. In 2019, nearly one sixth of Finland’s exports to Germany and more than two per cent of Finland’s total goods exports went to Baden Württemberg. During his visit to Stuttgart, Minister Skinnari will focus particularly on highlighting what Finnish companies have to offer in digitalisation, the circular economy and artificial intelligence. “Finland has much to offer to Germany, but the competition is extremely tough. Earning a place as an interesting partner for Germany and German companies requires constant work. In Germany, it is important to do the legwork in the different states, and Baden Württemberg is of particular importance for Finland’s exports,” Minister Skinnari underlines.



Juha Niemi, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, tel.  +358 295 350232
Eeva Lahti, Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Department for International Trade, tel. +358 295 350372
Christian Heikkinen, Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Department for Europe, tel. +358 295 350320