Finland Aims To Deepen Partnership With Ethiopia Across Multiple Domains

Finland Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio
Finland Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio


 Finland is looking to enhance its longstanding relationship with Ethiopia by boosting cooperation across development, business, trade, and other key areas, according to the country’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio.

Minister Tavio highlighted Finland’s 65 years of diplomatic ties with Ethiopia and its position as the largest Finnish development partner in Africa.

He expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved so far through Finnish-backed projects related to water management, education, weather forecasting, and digitalization.

“We have good reasons to continue our cooperation with Ethiopia,” Minister Tavio stated. “We are always looking for new possibilities and to facilitate more public-private partnerships where Finnish companies and solutions can be part of our joint efforts.”

The Finnish minister pointed to Finland’s support for initiatives like the EthioChicken poultry farming program through funding as an example of engaging the private sector.

He emphasized Finland’s strength in clean technologies for agriculture, forestry and water management as potential areas for future collaboration.

Beyond development, Finland is keen to increase trade and investment flows between the two countries. Minister Tavio welcomed Ethiopia’s efforts to open its economy further to international commerce, stating “We are supporting increasing trade in Ethiopia, and I look forward to more Finnish companies participating here.”

He cited Finnish telecoms giant Nokia’s role in boosting internet connectivity as one existing business success story, adding “We will hopefully keep increasing that connectivity.”

The Finnish government also aims to assist Ethiopia’s economic development by supporting vocational training and education initiatives to build a more skilled labor force. “Increasing education in Ethiopia is vital so you have the skilled workers these industries need,” Minister Tavio explained.

While humanitarian aid remains a priority, with Finland recently pledging 5 million euros, the long-term focus is on catalyzing private investment for sustainable economic growth according to the minister. “When you are doing the rebuilding, in the long run you will need to leverage private funding.”

Minister Tavio expressed support for Ethiopia’s political reform process as well, endorsing initiatives like the National Dialogue. “We are very much supporting these national dialogues, and we have a long history as a peace-mediating country,” he stated.

With the European Union gearing up to invest over 100 billion euros across Africa in the coming years, Minister Tavio said he hopes more of that capital will flow to Ethiopia if conditions are conducive for businesses.

Overall, the minister’s comments signaled Finland’s commitment to being a key partner for Ethiopia across the development, economic and political spheres in the years ahead, as reported by ENA.

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