BY Victoria Ojeme
The Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, has expressed her country’s commitment to promote trade relations with Nigeria.
Chowdhury who said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja said that funding instruments were available for promoting business partnership between Finland and Nigeria.
The envoy who was not specific about the volume of trade between two countries said she had put in a lot of efforts in the last four years to improve it.
“I came here wanting to make Nigeria-Finland relationship as active as possible. My main focus was trade promotion, clearly I can see everything I do here in relation to that.
“I wanted to promote trade relation and more visibility for Finland in Nigeria and for Nigeria to know more about Finland and for Finland to know more about Nigeria.
“There is activity and interest in many sectors and some companies are very much present here but there is much more to be done.
“This is what I try to do all the time also in the way I educate Finnish companies about Nigeria and we try to facilitate their businesses here,” she said.
The envoy advocated for a right environment for sustainable development in the nation’s economy.
She said: “what we need is to have a vibrant economy and private sector and thriving businesses, and for that you need to have the right kind of environment.”
The envoy said that Finnish activities in Nigeria in business, trade and investment and others could take place in many different sectors.
Chowdhury said that there were various Finnish companies in Nigeria, stressing that notable among them were Nokia and Wartsila.
She said that Wartsila was a power company in many countries in Africa and also in Nigeria.
“It has different kind of power solutions, engines, also for shipping and for industrial use and more recently it has been very interested in solar power,” she said.
Chowdhury said that Kone was another Finnish Company doing a business here in Nigeria but operating through a representative.
“They produce lifts and escalator and cranes and also conveyor belts in airports, they are a big global player in this area and they are represented in Nigeria by a company called Crystalrail.
“Vicesala is also another Finnish Company in Nigeria that produces meteorological technology and in Abuja Airport.
“It is their technology that is there but they are slightly smaller company they are also very international, for years they have been selling internationally,” she said.
According to her, they are very advanced in technology for weather detecting which is very important in aviation safety.
She said they had their technology in other Nigeria airports like the new airport in Benin Kebbi that was commissioned three or four years ago.
“So these are like the four big sort of major Finnish companies that are present here in Nigeria; Nokia, Wartsila, Kone and Vicesala.
“There are also other companies in the health sector for years now. First Foundation is a good example; they represent a company that actually operate in many countries.
“In Finland it is called Pelkingeme and they do this new born screening technology, where new born can be screened for certain illnesses and things like that,” she said.
According to her, there is a big Finnish Dairy Company, Valio, which was part of the delegation that came in to Nigeria in 2017.
She said that the company was coming to Nigeria with lactose free milk.
“They have a very specific product that they are coming with which is completely different from the other ones,” she said.