Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota, will visit Finland on 17–19 November. This is the Governor’s first visit abroad since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visit is related to extensive cooperation between Finland and Minnesota in the fields of clean energy, sustainable bioeconomy and digital technology. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari signed a Letter of Understanding between Finland and the State of Minnesota during his visit to the United States in October. The cooperation opens up new commercial opportunities for Finnish businesses. It will also promote Finland’s climate objectives and international cooperation to combat climate change.
Governor Walz will be accompanied by a delegation of about 60 people, representing a large number of US companies. This tells about interest in Finland.
“Finland is well known in Minnesota. We have many common and complementary strengths from research to international trade and from sport to culture. State-level cooperation with the United States is now the right way for Finland to proceed and achieve concrete results. In future, we will engage in systematic cooperation with other US States, too,” Minister Skinnari says.
“Minnesota is a great place to do business. Our goal is to share that message with the world, strengthening trade with our partners in Europe while expanding economic opportunity for businesses and families here in Minnesota,” says Governor Walz. “I’ll be joined by business leaders from across the state as we build on our existing relationships and encourage European businesses to start or grow their operations in Minnesota.”
During his visit, Governor Walz will meet President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari, Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä. During the visit, the Minnesotan delegation will meet representatives of Finnish companies, research institutes, universities and cities.
“Finland’s strengths lie in solutions to clean energy, sustainable bioeconomy and digital technologies, for which there is demand in Minnesota. It is a good idea to respond to this demand. These State-level partnerships will promote cooperation between the two countries and the creation of new innovation and business ecosystems,” Minister Lintilä says.
The United States is one of Finland’s most important trading partners. Cooperation with Minnesota is part of a new, more extensive State-level cooperation in the USA. So far, Finland has signed a Letter of Understanding with Minnesota and Memorandums of Understanding with the States of Maine, Michigan and Washington. The principal areas of cooperation with the States include green economy, digitalisation and activities in the forest sector. The aim is to promote joint innovation ecosystems between Finnish and US actors. In the longer term, the cooperation is expected to strengthen trade and investments as well as academic and cultural ties.
In Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the Letter of Understanding signed with Minnesota. In the United States, the cooperation between Finland and US States is promoted by Finland’s diplomatic missions and Business Finland.
Juha Niemi, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 295 350 232
Nina Alatalo, Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs (EU and International Affairs),
tel. +358 295 047 171, [email protected]
Kari Puurunen, Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 599 3952
The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]