Merikasarmi, PO Box 176, 00023 Government, Finland
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External economic relations, sustainable development and the common challenges faced by humankind

In international cooperation, Finland promotes an open, rules-based free trade and global economy. EU internal markets account for a considerable share of Finland’s foreign trade, but the majority of growing economies are outside the Union. 

Finland must be able more effectively to influence the operating conditions of Finnish enterprises on both internal and external markets.

The Common Commercial Policy of the EU lays the foundation for the external economic relations of the Member States. Promoting the WTO’s functionality and the free trade negotiations held within its framework as well as development of free trade with the EU’s trans-Atlantic and Asian partners are important objectives.

Finland exerts influence so that Russia’s WTO commitments are implemented as effectively as possible in sectors important to Finland. As to sanctions policy, Finland actively exerts influence on the EU’s collective decision-making.

The Foreign Service plays an important role in safeguarding the preconditions of Finnish enterprises for international operations and in attracting investments to Finland. Finland’s challenging economic situation emphasises the importance of this task.

Special attention is paid to the development of commercial and economic services as part of the Team Finland network.

There is an ever closer connection between the opening of markets and global development. Sustainable development reducing inequality is economically profitable for all parties, both public and private sectors. The modernisation of emerging countries creates new markets for Finnish enterprises, while Finnish know-how yields benefits to emerging countries as they integrate into international value chains more effectively.

In developing countries with rapid economic growth, the majority of which are in Africa, bilateral cooperation is beneficial in strengthening trade relations. The joint effect of trade and development is strengthened through concrete programmes and financing instruments.

By promoting sustainable development worldwide, Finland bears global responsibility. In accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Finland takes part in resolving the great global challenges facing humankind – such as mitigating climate change, reducing poverty, food security, and access to clean water and sustainable energy.

Finland supports fragile states, which are in the most difficult position, as well as countries with which cooperation can gradually develop to be more broad-based, for instance in the direction of commercial and economic cooperation.

The priorities of Finland’s development cooperation also include peacebuilding, democracy and development of the rule of law as well as building the country’s own economy, including developing countries’ own responsible business activity and strengthening of the tax base. In all its international cooperation, Finland emphasises human rights and the position of women and girls. 

Finland improves the effectiveness, productivity and measurability of development cooperation by means of steering by results. The share of multi-actor partnerships, new modes of cooperation and measures supporting joint effects in various sectors will be increased in development policy. Activities will be adapted to the available resources.

The long-term goal is to raise financing for development, in accordance with UN objectives, to 0.7 per cent of the gross national income.

This document

Updated 10/29/2015

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