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Finland to invest in high-growth companies solving development challenges in Asia – Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The side event offers companies the opportunity to meet venture capital experts from leading international development banks and UN agencies looking for innovative partnerships. These international organisations are on the lookout for disruptive technologies and start-ups.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio encourages Finnish companies to pursue entry to emerging markets. “Finnish companies possess great expertise in the development and deployment of new technologies. Development finance institutions and the UN know the markets and can be valuable partners.”
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Business Finland will co-host a side event to the Finnish start-up and technology event Slush to offer companies interested in the possibilities of development financing the chance to meet with venture capital investors and UN agencies. One of the development finance institutions present is the ADB Ventures fund of the Asian Development Bank. The Foreign Ministry will announce its investment of EUR 20 million in the fund.

A delivery driver is swapping batteries at a battery station.

A delivery driver is swapping batteries at a Selex station in Hanoi. Selex specializes in manufacturing electric two-wheelers and swappable battery packs with stations throughout the country to reduce carbon emissions in the logistics sector of Vietnam. (Photo: courtesy of Selex)

The Asian Development Bank has granted seed financing to the Finnish company Caidio, which develops artificial intelligence based quality assurance solutions for concrete construction. As a result, Caidio has been able to expand in the Asian markets faster than before.
“More investments are needed in the emerging Asian markets. Having Finland as our long-term partner helps our ability to achieve more development impacts in the region,” says Suzanne Gaboury, Director General of the Private Sector Operations Department of the Asian Development Bank. “In particular, we are able to support entrepreneurs who develop solutions that can significantly cut the continent’s emissions, improve the resilience of communities and promote gender equality.”
ADB Ventures invests in high-growth companies engaged in developing digital solutions that contribute to the clean energy transition, the adaptation to extreme weather events and the promotion of gender equality. In addition to its own funds, ADB Ventures aims to mobilise USD 200 million in private capital.

Foreign Ministry to promote the channelling of capital to impact businesses

ADB Ventures can even invest in Finnish high-growth companies that are developing technologies to help the clean transition in the emerging markets of Asia.
“We cannot achieve sustainable development without the private sector’s innovative solutions. Our investment supports the development and deployment of such solutions,” says Under-Secretary of State Pasi Hellman from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Ministry’s development policy investments always aim to achieve positive development impacts in developing countries. However, the invested capital is expected to flow back to Finland with a small profit. ADB Ventures invests in companies that are expected to improve the climate resilience of one million people and SMEs and to promote gender equality at work.
“Asia is urbanising rapidly, and it is important that this process is sustainable,” says Aku Wilenius, CEO of Caidio. “The Asian Development Bank has opened doors for us and brought us critical visibility so that we can help make the Asian concrete industry more environmentally friendly.”
The ADB Ventures fund of the Asian Development Bank is looking for investment partners. Finland’s Foreign Ministry will announce at the event on 1 December  that it will invest EUR 20 million in the ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1a.
“All kinds of Finnish companies can find opportunities in these markets and stakeholders interested in cooperation. Sustainable development and profitable business are a good combination,” says Riku Mäkelä, Senior Director of Global Initiatives at Business Finland.

Inquiries

  • Emmi Oikari, Director, Unit for Development Finance and Private Sector Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 964, emmi.oikari@gov.fi
  • Grace Wang, Senior Advisor, Business Finland, tel. +358 50 342 4740, grace.wang@businessfinland.fi

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