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Conclusion of MoC with Business Finland by welcoming Economic Minister Mika Lintilä

February 2019

On February 18, JETRO concluded a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with Business Finland1. Taking the opportunity of a visit to Japan by Finnish Economic Minister Mika Lintilä to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan, JETRO held a signing ceremony in the presence of the minister during the Japan-Finland Business Seminar at JETRO headquarters.

During the seminar, presentations were delivered by companies and institutes from both countries. Tracegrow, a Finnish cleantech company, presented on the circuler economy, while Finnish Minerals Group, a government-owned company that aims at responsibly maximizing the value of Finnish minerals, spoke on electric vehicles and self-driving systems. The great interest in Finland among Japanese companies was reaffirmed through presentations by Itochu, which is expanding business in Finland using support programs provided by Business Finland; Morpho, which is collaborating with Finnish startups; and Slush Tokyo, which organizes the Tokyo version of Slush—one of Europe's largest startup events in Helsinki. With high educational standards and close public-private partnership, innovation in Finnish ecosystems is drawing much attention.

Ranked seventh in the 2018 Global Innovation Index (GII)2 and lauded for its excellent business environment, research and development and human resources, Finland has established itself as one of the world's leading innovation countries. For instance, in the field of mobility as a service (MaaS), Finland is said to be conducting the most advanced activities in the world. Furthermore, with the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement entering into effect, it is expected that the business relationship between Finland and Japan will expand.
Business Finland and JETRO have been working together such as in holding seminars in Tokyo and Helsinki with the aim of drawing investment in a two-way manner. On top of that, JETRO set up a support hub in Helsinki to connect Japanese and overseas startups and is supporting exchange between startups from both sides at Slush in cooperation with Business Finland.

Through the MoC based on the experience of these collaborative activities, Business Finland and JETRO will work together in creating innovation through their respective networks, promoting business cooperation, exchanging information and holding various events.

1 Business Finland is a government-affiliated organization under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, tasked with promoting innovation funds, international services, investment (including by overseas venture capital firms) and inbound tourism.
2 This index was co-published by Cornell University in the US, the French business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) through joint research. It is one of the most cited indexes related to innovation.

Exchange of MoC (From left)
Mr. Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland
Mr. Pekka Soini, Director General, CEO of Business Finland
Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Mr. Yoshihiko Isozaki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

"Japan-Finland Business Seminar"

Program
  1. 14:00 Opening remarks
    Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
  2. 14:05 Greetings
    Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland
  3. 14:10 Greetings
    Yoshihiko Isozaki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
  4. 14:15 MoC exchange ceremony
    Signatories:
    Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman and CEO, JETRO
    Pekka Soini, Director General and CEO, Business Finland
    Witnesses:
    Yoshihiko Isozaki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
    Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland
  5. 14:20 Keynote speech:
    "Business Ecosystem of Finland"
    Pekka Soini, Director General, CEO of Business Finland
  6. 14:35: Presentation:
    "Business Opportunities in Finland"
    Daisaku Yukita, Deputy Director General, JETRO London
  7. 14:45 Presentation:
    “Circular Economy in Finland"
    Petry Huhtala, Chairman of the Board, Tracegrow OY
  8. 15:00 Presentation:
    "Finnish Battery Material Value Chains Supporting EV Adoption in Europe"
    Vesa Koivisto, Senior Vice President, Finnish Minerals Group
  9. 15:15 Presentation:
    "Utilizing Business Finland’s Support Programs"
    Masayuki Watanabe, Manager, Textile Sect.(OSRM), Apparel Department 3, Textile Company, ITOCHU Corporation
  10. 15:30 Presentation:
    "Co-operation with Finnish Startups"
    Masaki Hiraga, President, Morpho, Inc.
  11. 15:45 Presentation:
    "From Helsinki to Tokyo - Connecting Ecosystems"
    Antti Sonninen, Co-founder, Slush Tokyo
  12. 16:00 Question-and-answer session and introduction of Finnish business delegation
  13. 16:30 Networking
  14. 17:30 Closing