UAE, Finland keen to share synergies
The UAE has been proved to be a test-bed for innovations and so is Finland. The country is closely monitoring the opportunities it can tap here with an aim to boost bilateral trade, investment and innovation.
"Our startup industry is very eager to explore the opportunities available in the UAE. We have observed young entrepreneurs dealing in new industries such as digital healthcare, artificial intelligence, sustainability, clean technology, energy efficiency and education - just to name a few. The investors and incubators are more than open to network and see how both countries can offer platforms to startups on both sides," Riitta Swan, Finnish Ambassador to the UAE, exclusively told Khaleej Times on Monday, on the sidelines of announcing Finland's participation at Expo 2020 during a press conference.
Swan urged businesses and startups to participate in its annual event called 'Slush'. The core of Slush is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and to build a world-wide startup community. The event is a student-driven, non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship. In 2018, Slush will be organised in Helsinki on December 4 and 5. Slush is run by youth who want to make a difference in their societies. Several successful entrepreneurs such as Niklas Zennström (Skype & Atomico), Taizo Son (GungHo), Ilkka Paananen (Supercell), and Risto Siilasmaa (Nokia) among others, have already become a part of the non-profit initiative that is radically changing how entrepreneurship is perceived in Northern Europe, Japan and China.
Swan said: "Our exports to the UAE are currently at ?300 million and we expect this figure to swell as investments and businesses are networking for further growth and development on both sides. Tourism is a major segment and we encourage Emiratis to enjoy the services Finland can offer as a sought-after destination."
Finland's participation at Expo 2020 Dubai was confirmed by the Commissioner-General of Finland for Dubai Expo Severi Keinälä and Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, executive director, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.
Speaking at the event, Keinälä said: "Finland engages in international dialogue and seeks solutions through cooperation. Dubai Expo 2020 offers an incredible opportunity to strengthen existing ties and establish new connections with partners in the UAE, Arabic world and globally. Finland is the greenest country in the world: fresh air, pure water, green forests, clean energy and clean technology. Our Nordic nature inspires us to find creative and sustainable solutions and the Finland Pavilion provides a cool shaded refuge for making connections." The Finland Pavilion is incorporating both Finnish and Arabic cultures. The unique Finland pavilion takes inspiration from Finnish nature and design. The pavilion building is incorporating visually both Finnish and Arabic cultures. The exterior of the pavilion is white as snow with an entrance that gives an impression of arriving in an Arabic tent. In the middle, the gorge provides a peaceful escape from the noise of the Expo world, while the exhibition itself is providing abundance of experiences and information about continuous innovation and sustainable solutions.
The pavilion will showcase the country's competencies and expertise across various business sectors, including sustainability, technology and tourism with innovative content provided by our partners.
There are strong business ties between Finland and the UAE. The national partners represented in the Finland Pavilion - Kone Corporation, Konecranes and Outotec - are heavily involved in major projects across the region.
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