Canada and Finland enjoy excellent relations founded on people-to-people links and shared values. The two countries have much in common as northern parliamentary democracies with similar geography, climate, natural resources, and technology-driven economies. Canada is represented in Finland through an Embassy in Helsinki. In Canada, Finland maintains an Embassy in Ottawa and Honorary Consulates in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Montréal, Thunder Bay, Saint John, Calgary, Halifax, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Québec and St-John’s.
Canada’s bilateral commercial relationship with Finland lies primarily in science, technology, and innovation (STI) partnerships and investments. Key opportunity sectors for commercial growth include Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), clean technologies, the bio-economy, and advanced and sustainable mining.
Finland has a technologically sophisticated and robust business climate and ranks as the world's 11th most competitive economy (World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019). Among OECD member countries, Finland stands out for its innovation, highly skilled workforce, macroeconomic stability, solid institutions and a world-class and well regarded education system.
In June 2020, the Finnish Government announced a EUR 5.5 billion supplementary budget to support economic recovery. From a Finnish perspective, green recovery opens up opportunities because low-carbon and energy-efficient solutions form a significant part of Finnish exports. Finland’s post-pandemic recovery strategy strengthens earlier emphasis on achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2035 by placing heavy emphasis on innovation, circularity in production, emerging battery technologies and use of the forest economy to create jobs.
Finland is a strong supporter of free trade and a steady promoter of the Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic & Trade Agreement (CETA), which it ratified in August 2018. Since ratification, there has been a 33.8% increase in bilateral trade.
In 2020, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Finland was valued at $1.6 billion. In 2020, Canadian merchandise exports to Finland were valued at $662 million (down over 5% from 2019), led by metal ores and non-metallic minerals (62% of exports). Merchandise imports were valued at $999 billion in 2020 (down 6% from 2019) led by industrial machinery, equipment and parts (34% of imports). Bilateral trade in services was well-balanced in 2019, with exports of $157 million and imports of $153 million.
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. Officials and companies from Canada and Finland, 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. Canadian companies are among the largest private sector employers in Lapland, Finland.
Partnerships 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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