Press Releases, 8/17/2011
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja meets Honorary Consuls working in Brazil and the Caribbean
Press release 194/2011
16 August 2011
The first-ever joint meeting of Finland’s Honorary Consuls working in Brazil and the Caribbean will be held on August 15–17 in Helsinki and Turku.
One of the key roles of honorary consuls is to promote beneficial relations between various interest groups in Finland and their own country. The support and expertise of honorary consuls is particularly valuable when searching for new business contacts in the consuls’ home countries and for suitable local partners. Honorary consuls usually have a close knowledge of local business conditions. Indeed one of the major roles of honorary consuls today is to facilitate the networking of Finnish businesses.
The meeting will be attended by nine Honorary Consuls from Caribbean states and by nine Honorary Consuls from various Brazilian cities.
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja opened the meeting on Monday morning, August 15 by observing that Finnish relations with Brazil had intensified and strengthened in recent years, and that this same trend can be expected to continue with the respective new governments in office. Brazil is by far Finland’s biggest trade partner in Latin America. The Finnish Government also supports Brazil’s amibitions to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
In recent years Finland has established diplomatic relations with all Caribbean states and appointed Finnish honorary consuls in these countries. All Finnish consuls in these countries have been very active in recent times, supporting Finnish projects in various fields and promoting cooperation in the education sector, in sustainable development and in environmental policy. The Caribbean has been a great source of inspiration for Finland ever since the Helsinki Olympic Games when we were mesmerized by Jamaica’s top athletes, Tuomioja said.
Morning morning continued with a Ministry for Foreign Affairs internal seminar that charted the Ministry’s as well as Finish embassies’ cooperation with consular services, the main lines of cooperation and the various avenues for developing that cooperation.
Mayor of Helsinki Jussi Pajunen hosted a lunch reception for the honorary consuls and gave a talk about the administration of the capital city and the local government field. Pekka Timonen, Director of Helsinki’s Cultural Office, described the outlook for the Helsinki Design Capital 2012 project.
The first day of the visit ended in the Government Banquet Hall where Permanent State Under-Secretary Pertti Torstila hosted a reception that was attended by the honorary consuls as well as a number of Finnish business executives and leading cultural figures, Ambassadors and Ministry officials.
The honorary consuls also made visits to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Pöyry Group and Finpro.
On Tuesday and Wednesday 16–17 August the honorary consuls and their spouses will be visiting the City of Turku and the Forum Marinum Maritime Centre. They will be given a tour of the main sights and attractions of Turku, the European Capital of Culture for 2011. Furthermore the consuls will receive an introduction to the local business community, particularly companies that are interested in commercial ventures in Brazil and the Caribbean. The visit will be rounded off with a gala dinner at Turku Castle.
The spouses of the honorary consuls will be given a separate tour of the sights of Helsinki, and also receive an introduction to Finnish design. The programme will conclude with a visit to Hvitträsk.
Inquiries: Ambassador Mikko Pyhälä, tel. +358 40 352 0339, and Counsellor Hannele Tikanvaara, tel. +358 40 721 2937