Canada and Finland share a long tradition of excellent relations marked by frequent bilateral exchanges on best domestic practices and common priorities. Canada values Finland as a high-tech, like-minded northern nation and member state of the European Union. The two countries have much in common as bilingual northern parliamentary democracies with similar geography, climate and natural resources.
Historically, the strength of Canada’s bilateral commercial relationship with Finland lies primarily in science, technology and innovation partnerships, followed by investments. Key opportunity sectors for commercial growth include:
- information and communications technologies
- clean technologies
- the bioeconomy
- advanced mining
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017 to 2018, Finland has a technologically sophisticated and robust business climate, and ranks as the world’s 10th most competitive economy, compared to Canada, which ranks 14th.
In 2017, bilateral trade between Canada and Finland was valued at over $1.8 billion, representing an increase of almost 20% compared to 2016. The trade deficit widened in 2017, as imports increased and exports decreased. Canadian merchandise exports to Finland were nearly $648.5 million in 2017, representing a fallback of 3.3% from 2016.
Canada’s main exports to Finland in 2017 were:
- mineral ores
- mineral fuels and oils
- aerospace products
Merchandise imports from Finland to Canada grew to $1.17 billion in 2017 (a 37% increase from $853 million in 2016), consisting mainly of:
- mineral fuels and oils
- vehicles (led by motor cars)
- pharmaceutical products
- electrical and electronic equipment
- iron and steel products
Bilateral trade in services was well balanced in 2016 with imports from Finland at $132 million and exports to Finland at $128 million.
Trade and investment agreements
Trade and investment agreements involving Canada and Finland:
- Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
- World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA)
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
- Agreement on Trade-related Investment Measures (TRIMS)
- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT)
- General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
- World Trade Organization Information Technology Agreement (ITA)
- World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
- World Trade Organization Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA)
For more information, consult trade and investment agreements.
Canada-Finland relations on Arctic issues are strong. Cooperation takes place predominantly through the Arctic Council, which both countries regard as the leading multilateral forum on Arctic issues. With one third of its territory north of the Arctic Circle, Finland is a natural partner for Canada at the Arctic Council. Canadian and Finnish officials, as well as companies, collaborate closely in the areas of winter navigation, icebreaking, and shipbuilding.
Finland has high-tech Arctic expertise and experience, which provide the basis for frequent exchanges on best practices. Canadian mining companies have a strong presence in northern Finland; the estimated cumulative mining assets of Canadian mining companies in Finland are valued at over $1.5 billion in 2016. Canadian companies are among the largest private sector employers in Lapland, Finland.
Partners and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Finland work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- Arctic Council
- European Union
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN)
- Open Government Partnership (OGP)
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
- The Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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