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Finnish envoy lauds Nigerian media, seeks to promote trade

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Finland’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury (left) and Second Secretary, Outi Koikkalainen, during a courtesy visit to the Rutam House headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Finland’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury (left) and Second Secretary, Outi Koikkalainen, during a courtesy visit to the Rutam House headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Finland’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury, has commended the Nigerian media for its very active role, describing her encounter with several Nigerian journalists in Finland as very cordial.

Speaking during a familiarisation visit to The Guardian yesterday in Lagos, Suomela-Chowdhury, who was accompanied by the embassy’s Second Secretary, Outi Koikkalainen, said the main focus of the visit was to promote trade relations between the two nations.

The Finnish envoy said a lot of things were happening in the area of trade between both countries and more could still happen, adding that the nation’s energy sector has so many opportunities.

She stated that her country was also interested in the health sector as a lot of Finnish companies had started producing BabyBox, a social welfare scheme of her home country for low-income earners, targeting Nigerian health market, on a commercial basis.

The envoy added that the Finnish embassy organised a programme in the country on health and wellbeing showcasing the BabyBox, with representatives from Nigeria.

She said they were happy to have hit a cordial relationship with The Guardian.

On the trade volume between the two countries and the strategies to drive it, she said from Nigeria’s side, it is minimal, but from Finland’s, it was more but could be a lot more better, adding that her embassy’s trade promotion office in Lagos supports companies, networking between nations and was interested in business opportunities on the African continent. She said that the visit was to tell of the opportunities in Finland.

On why Finland wants foreigners to pay fees, the envoy said that it had to do with the reality of the time and limited resources in her country, adding that students from non-European Union (EU) countries schooling in Finnish universities started pay tuition fees this year, as they received education for the right quality jobs.

She noted that some foreign students would also receive scholarships.

The Guardian Editor, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo, thanked the delegation for the visit and promised that the paper would partner with the embassy.



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