Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Finland

General Information on Finland’s development cooperation

Finland’s Development Policy Programme runs from 2012 to 2015. Finland’s development policy and development cooperation are human-rights-based and aim at eradication of extreme poverty and securing a life of human dignity for all people in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Finland’s development policy and development cooperation contain four priority areas:

  1. A democratic and accountable society that promotes human rights,
  2. An inclusive green economy that promotes employment,
  3. Sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection, and
  4. Human development.

In addition, there are three cross-cutting objectives: gender equality, reduction of inequality, and climate sustainability.

Main targeted results include:

  • Eradication of extreme poverty and securing a life of human dignity for all people
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • A democratic and accountable society that promotes human rights
  • An inclusive green economy that promotes employment
  • Sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection
  • Human development
  • Gender equality
  • Reduction of inequality
  • Climate sustainability

Development cooperation is a key instrument of development policy. Development policy and cooperation have strong linkages to trade, industrial, environmental and security policies as well.

Finland’s development policy instruments/facilities are general budget support, sector budget support, other sector support, bilateral aid, multilateral aid, EU cooperation, regional and thematic projects and programs, Finnfund, Finnpartnership, institutional cooperation instrument (ICI) , higher education institutions − institutional cooperation instrument (HEI-ICI) , civil society support, support to INGOs, local cooperation funds, various forms of development communications and global education, support to development research institutions and Academy of Finland, North−South−South higher education institution network program, and humanitarian assistance.

Finland engages itself in bilateral development cooperation with countries where development policy targets can be effectively promoted; its seven long-term partner countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia. In addition, Finland provides support to countries recovering from violent crises, especially Afghanistan, Palestinian Territories and South Sudan. Thematic and regional cooperation complements other channels of assistance, with support increasingly provided through multilateral channels. Regional programs are concentrated on the Mekong region, Central Asia, Southern Africa, East Africa, Andean region, and the West Balkans.

Aid for Trade (broad definition) accounts for approximately a fifth of Finland’s development cooperation funding. Finland’s Aid for Trade enjoys high priority in both Finland’s development contributes in particular to two out of four priorities of Finland’s development policy: An inclusive green economy that promotes employment, and Sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

Finland’s Aid for Trade action plan, titled “Creating jobs through private sector and trade development”, runs from 2012 to 2015. It is based both on Finland’s Development Policy Program and Government’s Action Plan on External Economic Relations.

Finland’s Aid for Trade works in accordance with the same overall objectives and principles as the rest of development cooperation.

The main objective of Finland’s Aid for Trade is: That the private sector creates decent employment and opportunities for entrepreneurship for all.

To increase decent employment and opportunities for entrepreneurship, Finland’s Aid for Trade has four goals (outcomes):

  • A sound business enabling environment promotes private sector activity;
  • Developing countries benefit from international trade and investment;
  • Economic activity is based on the sustainable use of natural resources; and
  • People’s skills and knowledge produce innovative economic activity.

Within these four goals, there are eight focus areas:

  • Finland promotes the development of inclusive business that engages poor and easily marginalised people as producers, consumers, innovators and equal partners in business processes. This type of inclusive business improves the employment and incomes of poor and easily marginalised people and helps develop solutions to reduce poverty and respond to other development challenges.
  • Finland promotes women’s entrepreneurship as a vehicle for making a living, economic empowerment and equality.
  • Finland supports strengthening the capacity of the poorest developing countries to benefit from the international trading and investment system. Finland strengthens these countries’ ability to recognise key challenges related to trade development and to negotiate, enforce and take advantage of international trade agreements and private standards that complement public policy. Finland promotes sustainable private investment by supporting business and investment climate reforms at a local, national, regional and international level.
  • Finland supports the opportunities of microenterprises, small traders, households and women entrepreneurs to benefit from cross-border trade. Regional cross-border trade is often the first step in the internationalisation of small enterprises. Regional cross-border trade also contributes to regional cooperation, integration and stability.
  • Finland aims to develop agricultural and forestry value chains so that poor people, women farmers and young people planning a future in agriculture will be able to participate in and benefit from them. This promotes the vertical development of production from the raw materials to the product or service ready for the market. It also promotes the horizontal expansion of the economy into new producer and customer segments and to diversification into new business areas.
  • Finland strengthens the development of renewable energy production and distribution, together with the development of environmental protection objectives to make the transition to a greener economy. The aim is to increase both trade and economic opportunities and equitable access to energy for all people.
  • Finland promotes the use of information technology to develop innovative economic activity. Examples are mobile banking, microwork and electronic market information that benefits small farmers and traders.
  • Finland will start a new kind of development cooperation to improve youth employment in developing countries. This focus theme will combine youth entrepreneurship development, business development services for young entrepreneurs, vocational skills development and creating innovations.

For more details: 
Creating jobs through private sector and trade development − Finland’s Aid for Trade action plan 2012–2015:

http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=263729&nodeid=15452&contentlan=
2&culture=en-US

In addition, Finnish AfT assistance is provided through most development cooperation instruments, of which the following are particularly essential for AfT:

  • Sector support for private sector and trade development sector programs
  • Project cooperation for bilateral, regional and stand-alone projects in areas of AfT
  • Regional programs for trade, regional integration, private sector development, forestry, energy and innovation programs
  • Multilateral development aid for trade and development organizations, international financial institutions and UN agencies, funds and programs
  • EU cooperation in AfT
  • Institutional cooperation instrument for state agencies and offices
  • Higher education institutions’ institutional cooperation instrument for universities and other higher education institutions in business sciences and economics
  • Funds for local cooperation, which are administered by Finnish embassies, for local (host-country) civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector organizations and companies
  • Civil society support and support to INGOs in trade and development, private sector development and other related AfT areas.

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Postal address:

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

P. O. Box 176

FI-00023 Government, Finland

Contact details

Tel: Switchboard: +358 91 6005 or 57815

Europe Information: 010 345 6700

Fax: +358 962 9840 or 1 605 5799

E-mail: kirjaamo.um@formin.fi

Web: http://formin.finland.fi/English

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) promotes the security and welfare of Finland and the Finns, and works for a secure and fair world. It concentrates on foreign and security policy, trade policy and development policy as well as on significant foreign policy issues and international relations in general. The Ministry also assists other branches of government in the coordination of international affairs.

Within the MFA, overall responsibility for the formulation of Finland’s international development policy and development cooperation policy falls under the Department for Development Policy, while responsibility for advancing policy coherence between trade policy and development policy is within the Department for Development Policy and the Department for External Economic Relations. Development cooperation issues related to bilateral relations and regional initiatives come under the responsibility of regional departments: the Departments for Europe; for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia; for the Americas and Asia; and for Africa and the Middle East. The Department for Development Policy administers development assistance through multilateral organizations, except for certain specialized agencies focusing on trade and development matters, whose aid is administered by the Department for External Economic Relations.

For more information: formin.finland.fi/Public/default.aspx?nodeid=15130&contentlan=2&culture=en-US

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB

Finnfund Ltd (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd) and Finnpartnership programme

Mailing address:

P. O. Box 391

FI-00121 Helsinki

Street address:

Uudenmaankatu 16 B, 4th floor

FI-00120 Helsinki

Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd.): Finnfund is a Finnish development finance institute that offers long-term risk capital to profitable projects in ODA-eligible developing countries and countries in transition outside the EU, incl. Russia. It funds commercially viable private sector projects. Finnfund’s projects have an important development objective, specifically to increase the production capacity of developing countries.

Finnpartnership: The business partnership program, Finnpartnership, is a channel for cooperation between the Finnish business sector and companies in ODA-eligible developing countries or other actors who want to establish business partnerships. It allows Finnish businesses and other actors to contribute to development cooperation in their own special fields. Finnpartnership finances preparatory activities leading to a business partnership, such as identifying business partners, pre-feasibility study, feasibility study, social and environmental impact assessment, piloting technology and solutions, business plan, training of the employees in the target developing country, utilizing experts in developing a specific business area of a project, and vocational education and training, and support for local education.

In addition, Finnish AfT assistance is provided through most development cooperation instruments, of which the following are particularly essential for AfT:

  • Sector support for private sector and trade development sector programs
  • Project cooperation for bilateral, regional and stand-alone projects in areas of AfT
  • Regional programs for trade, regional integration, private sector development, forestry, energy and innovation programs
  • Multilateral development aid for trade and development organizations, international financial institutions and UN agencies, funds and programs
  • EU cooperation in AfT
  • Institutional cooperation instrument for state agencies and offices
  • Higher education institutions’ institutional cooperation instrument for universities and other higher education institutions in business sciences and economics
  • Funds for local cooperation, which are administered by Finnish embassies, for local (host-country) civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector organizations and companies
  • Civil society support and support to INGOs in trade and development, private sector development and other related AfT areas.

Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Postal address:

P. O. Box 32

FI-00023 Government, Finland

Contact details:

Tel: Switchboard: +358 29 506 0000

Fax: +358 9 1606 2160

E-mail: kirjaamo@tem.fi

Web: http://www.tem.fi/index.phtml?l=en

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy bears the overall responsibility for business environment and industrial policy of Finland, as well as promotion of exports and the internationalisation of enterprises as part of the policy. The Ministry’s export promotion policy aims to ensure that Finnish enterprises have at least equal internationalisation conditions and operating possibilities in the market compared to the companies of competitor countries. Public export promotion services are primarily provided for small and medium enterprises. The Ministry strives, with public services and subsidies, to encourage enterprises operating on the home market to internationalize their business, as well as to accelerate the internationalisation process of enterprises that have already started exporting. The MEE also has the overall responsibility for advancing the corporate social responsibility of Finnish firms.

For more information: http://www.tem.fi/index.phtml?l=en&s=2212

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Centre for Metrology and Accreditation (MIKES): The Centre for Metrology and Accreditation supports the competitiveness of Finnish trade and industry, and promotes the quality and reliability of national testing and inspection services. It provides internationally recognized accreditation and calibration services.

For more information: http://www.mikes.fi/frameset.aspx?url=page.aspx%3fcontentID=194

Export Promotion and Internationalisation (EPI): The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish diplomatic and consular missions monitor and promote Finland’s economic interests abroad through its Export Promotion and Internationalisation (EPI) function. The geographically wide network of diplomatic and consular missions abroad, in cooperation with other EPI actors, provides companies with public services related to export promotion and internationalisation. Other key Finnish operators in export promotion and internationalisation include Finpro; Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation); Finnvera; Finnfund; Invest in Finland; Finnish Tourist Board; Technical Research Centre of Finland; Sitra (Finnish Innovation Fund); Regional Business Service Centres; Confederation of Finnish Industries and Chambers of Commerce.

For more information: formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?nodeid=15166&contentlan=2&culture=en-US

FINAS: A national accreditation body, FINAS is an operationally and economically independent department within the organization of the Centre for Metrology and Accreditation (MIKES).

For more information: http://www.mikes.fi/frameset.aspx?url=finas.aspx%3fcategoryID=2&langID=fi

Finnvera, a specialized financing company owned by the State of Finland, is an official Export Credit Agency (ECA) that provides its clients with loans, guarantees, venture capital investments and export credit guarantees. The State of Finland is responsible for all the guarantees it issues, and its operations are steered by the industrial and ownership policy goals laid down by the State. Among these are: (i) increasing the number of starting enterprises; (ii) enabling financing for changes encountered by SMEs; and (iii) promoting enterprise growth, internationalisation and exports. In its operations, Finnvera is expected to adhere to the principle of economic self-sustainability.

For more information: http://www.finnvera.fi/eng/Company/Finnvera-in-brief

Finpro, an association founded by Finnish companies in 1919, is a global expert network with the national task of promoting the growth and competitiveness of Finnish companies through internationalization. Its global Trade Center Network promotes Finish exports and imports to Finland. Its clients are Finnish companies at different stages of internationalization, and its aim is to guarantee that they, and especially small and medium-sized companies, have access to high quality, comprehensive internationalization services around the world. Finpro also provides foreign companies looking for business contacts in Finland with information through the Finnish Exporters’ database.

For more information: http://www.finpro.fi/en-US/Finpro/

Fintra is specialized in providing training services to Finnish companies that are either starting global business or are already active in this field. It maintains a network of 300 experts who provide training to some 4,000 persons per year.

For more information: http://www.fintra.fi

The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (NBPR): The NBPR advances technological and economic progress, both in Finland and internationally. It participates actively in international activities in its field and closely monitors how they develop. The NBPR has a wide network of international contacts, including the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other institutions. Finland has acceded to several intellectual property treaties and organizations relating to the NBPR.

For more information: http://www.prh.fi/en/tietoaprhsta.html

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

Finnish Standards Association (SFS): SFS is an independent, non-profit making association and a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). SFS co-ordinates standardization in Finland; produces and approves SFS standards; sells SFS and foreign standards; maintains databases of standards; provides general information on standards and standardization; and manages environmental labeling systems. It also manages the WTO information Centre in Finland.

For more information: http://www.sfs.fi/sfs_lyhyesti/tehtavat/

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

Finland supports international and regional financial institutions and a number of UN agencies by allocating core funding for them and earmarked funding for some of their AFT funds and programmes. Multilateral cooperation is an important avenue for the implementation of Finland’s Aid for Trade. The operations of the multilateral organisations respond to country-level and regional challenges and priorities, that require cross-border, regional and global solutions. Important topics are non-tariff barriers and other regulations, such as technical regulations and standards as well as voluntary certification systems applied by companies, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, trade defence instruments or broader trade-related themes such as investment, public procurement, competition rules or intellectual property rights.

Finland allocates both multilateral and regional, as well as multi- and bi-lateral AFT funding to the strengthening of competitive productive capacity, improvement of investment climate and to programmes which help recognise potential investors and facilitate their operation in developing countries. Finland promotes gender equality, reduction of inequality as part of poverty eradication, climate sustainability, green economy and creation of decent jobs also in multilateral cooperation. Finland increasingly allocates multilateral AFT funding to established organisations, reduces the number of partner organisations and encourages the organisations to cooperate more closely with each other in order to improve aid effectiveness. Finland encourages the multilateral and international organisations to collaborate with Finland’s bilateral projects in the long-term partner countries. Furthermore, the least developed countries stand at the core of Finland’s development aid. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland aims to have multiyear cooperation agreements with the established partner organisations.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide

GLOBAL ADVOCACY

  • Support for OECD’s analytical work in the global AfT monitoring exercise
  • Support for UNCTAD’s flagship reports
  • Support to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECPDM)

TRADE POLICY DEVELOPMENT

  • Support through EIF for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to LDCs
  • Support to UNCTAD’s technical assistance, topics include i.a. investment and entrepreneurship, information and communication technologies and development, trade and gender, WTO accession and academic cooperation
  • Support to UNIDO for the implementation of activities under the Trade Capacity-Building Programme with specific focus on LDCs and the EIF
  • Support to International Trade Centre’s technical assistance
  • Support to WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)
  • Support to ICTSD’s research, networking and dialogues in trade strategies and trade policies
  • Support to OECD’s work in research, strategies and guidance in trade and development policy work
  • Support to ECDPM’s research and advocacy work in policy coherence for development
  • Support to UNDP’s AfT work in trade policy development in Kosovo

LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

  • Support to Private Sector Development Reform Programme II in Zambia in developing investment legislation
  • Support to PEDSA, Sector Program for Rural Development in Mozambique, in developing agricultural legislation and policies
  • Support Sustainable Forest Development – Sustainable Financing Phase Project in Laos in developing forestry legislation and administration
  • Support to IFC Ukraine Cleaner Production Project in improving the legislative and regulatory framework of cleaner production
  • Regional program in Southern Africa to implement the OECD’s Policy Framework for Investment
  • Support to UNCTAD’s programs on e-commerce and law reform in Laos, Cambodia and East Africa
  • ICTSD-ACWL project ‘Managing and Avoiding Trade Conflicts by Strengthening Legal Capacity in Developing Countries’, implemented in co-operation with the Secretariat of the WTO.

SUPPLY CAPACITY

  • Support to agricultural and forestry productive capacity projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zambia, Andean region, Mekong region, and WEI region (Eastern European CIS countries, South Caucasus, Central Asia)
  • Support to private sector development programs in Zambia,
  • Support to green construction in Zambia
  • Support for energy supply development programs in Central America, Andean region, Mekong region, East and Southern Africa, and Indonesia
  • Support to innovations, ICT and services sector projects in Mozambique, Tanzania, Southern Africa, and Vietnam
  • Support to EBRD’s Southern & Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Trust Fund in North Africa, Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) in North Africa, Early Transition Countries Initiative in WEI region (Eastern European CIS countries, South Caucasus, Central Asia)
  • Support to UNIDO’s work in developing productive and trade capacities and agricultural entrepreneurship in LDCs
  • Support to ITC’s project to develop the pineapple sector of Benin and Togo, paying particular attention to women-owned businesses, and making use of a similar approach to help women traders in various sectors in the EAC.
  • Support through EIF for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to LDCs

COMPLIANCE SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES

  • Support for Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)
  • Support to WTO’s DDAGTF
  • Support for UNIDO’s trade capacity-building programs

TRADE PROMOTION CAPACITY BUILDING

  • Support to Finnpartnership program
  • Support to projects in various countries funded from Local cooperation funds

MARKET AND TRADE INFORMATION

  • Support to UNDP’s AfT program’s market and trade information development in WEI region (Eastern European CIS countries, South Caucasus, Central Asia)

TRADE FACILITATION

  • Support to WCO’s program in customs modernization in East and Southern Africa

PHYSICAL TRADE INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Support to Private Sector Development Reform Programme II in Zambia in developing trade infrastructure
  • Support to agriculture and rural development programs in Cambodia, Kenya, Nicaragua and Zambia in developing rural infrastructure
  • Support to EBRD’s NIF and ETC Trust Funds in developing infrastructure
  • Support to EU−Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund in developing infrastructure
  • Support to EIF’s analytical and coordination work in trade and economic infrastructure
  • Support to roads construction, bridges, ports and electrification projects in developing countries funded from concessional credits

TRADE RELATED FINANCIAL SERVICES

  • Support to EBRD’s ETC Trust Fund in developing trade-related financial services
  • Support to International Trade Centre’s (ITC) program on Trade Finance