03 Jun 2014 10:50am
By: Maggy Thomas
HELSINKI, 03 JUN (NAMPA) - Namibia and Finland have agreed to explore ways to strengthen bilateral ties so as to create a win-win situation through which both countries could leverage their strengths and competitive advantages.
Trade and Industry Minister, Calle Schlettwein said this in an interview with Nampa immediately after his meeting with Finland's State Secretary in the Ministry of Employment and the Economy Marja Rislakki here on Monday.
Schlettwein is leading a 42-member Namibian business delegation on a week-long trade and investment business mission in Helsinki, Finland. The delegation arrived here on Sunday.
The Namibian Trade and Industry Minister told this news agency during his meeting with Rislakki, they discussed issues related to the deepening and strengthening of relations between their two countries, with specific emphasis on trade and industrialisation.
We want to broaden our relationship into economic cooperation. We also discussed the challenges that our two countries are facing in terms of globalisation, and in terms of remaining competitive in the global and regional markets. We have agreed to explore ways in which we can create a win-win situation through which we can leverage our respective comparative advantages, he said.
Schlettwein said Finland's advantage is based in its technology and innovation of new generations of power sources, alternative energy and its education capacity, while Namibia is endowed with natural resources and good market access in the region and world at large.
With these advantages, we thought we could explore ways to deepen our relations and improve direct private sector cooperation. We could also develop our countries business environments so that they can be attractive to investors, he stated.
He indicated that so far there is no industrial agreement signed between Namibia and Finland, but the two countries are eager to venture into deeper trade co-operation.
The Namibia business delegation includes representatives of government agencies and state-owned enterprises such as the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency, Meat Board of Namibia, Meat Corporation of Namibia, the Namibia Trade Forum, Namibia Ports Authority, Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Offshore Development Company and the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.
The business mission also attracted the interest of private businesses that have footprints in the energy, tourism, fishing, agriculture and construction sectors.
The trade and investment mission is a follow-up on President Hifikepunye Pohambas state visit to that country in 2013.
On Monday, the delegation met with the management of Finland's renewable energy company, Naps/Savosolar before visited Jolla, the only cellphone company in Helsinki.
The delegation also had an opportunity to meet with Pan Nordic Meat's management before they attended a dinner event hosted by the Mayor of the City of Vantaa,
The Namibian business delegation is scheduled to return to Namibia next week.