Finland reopens an embassy in Baghdad, additional funding to Arctic and Baltic cooperation and export promotion
In the government budget session, decisions were made on additional funding for the Foreign Ministry' network of missions, regional cooperation, and export promotion. The Ministry’s operating expenses total EUR 224.8 million.
Finland will prepare the reopening of its embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Finland has not had Finnish diplomatic personnel in Baghdad since 1991. Since 2006, Finland’s official representative for Iraq has been a Roving Ambassador based in Helsinki. At present, 14 EU member states are permanently represented in Baghdad at an ambassadorial level.
The reopening of the embassy will promote the development of broad bilateral relations and commercial cooperation.
"Iraq belongs to the European neighbourhood, and its development will affect Finland, too. Finland has a fairly large Iraqi diaspora community, which means that cooperation between the citizens of the countries and other collaboration are increasing. The agenda of the discussions on the bilateral relations between Finland and Iraq includes also questions relating to the return of those whose asylum application has been refused," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini, when he commented the significance of the reopening of the embassy.
The Government allocated an additional appropriation of EUR 1.7 million to the Baltic, Barents and Arctic cooperation. The current international situation highlights the importance of regional cooperation. Additional funding is allocated to the promotion of security and wellbeing, the state of the environment as well as to mitigation of climate change and economic activities in the neighbouring areas.
"Finland is currently chairing the Arctic Council, and we have taken an active role, among other things, in efforts to reduce black coal emissions. This funding will strengthen Finland's position as an Arctic actor," Minister Soini notes.
An additional appropriation of EUR 1.5 million is allocated to Finnpartnership, which offers development funding.
"Finnpartnership is a rapid and flexible instrument that promotes business activities and partnerships. Its use by Finnish companies, non-governmental organisations and other actors experienced a marked increase in 2017, the number of applications growing by 71 per cent. Additional appropriations are truly needed," says Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen.
Export promotion is strengthened by hiring three food export specialists to work in Finnish missions abroad. The government budget session allocated EUR one million for this purpose. According to decisions made in the government budget session in the spring, seven specialists in commercial and economic matters will be hired to work in the Team Finland network. EUR 1.6 million has been allocated for the purpose.
Inquiries: Riikka Taivassalo, Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 46 923 4581, Juha Kirstilä, Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 40 552 8200
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