Finnish innovation to meet future demands at Expo ’20 - GulfToday

Finnish innovation to meet future demands at Expo ’20


The snowcapped landscape of Finland for most times of the year alongside the warmth of the UAE will welcome Expo 2020 Dubai delegates and visitors from Oct.20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Rising up to its own challenges as a developing state in the 1950s and since 2016 classified as the greenest nation in the world with its water ready to be gulped right from the tap, Finland is set to showcase its time-tested and continuing innovations on sustainability leading to more opportunities for more mobility at the Oct.20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 “Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai Commissioner General Severi Keinala said: “Finland gives you solutions.”

That was on the last day of the Aug.18 to Aug.20 Business Finland-sponsored and organised “Press Tour” for five journalists from the UAE, Bahrain and the UK in Helsinki, Espoo and Lohja.

The five were given a glimpse of what the Nordic country of 5.5 million multi-racial residents has to offer in the areas of renewable energy resources including nuclear power plants, building information modelling, energy efficient construction and homes, smart workplaces, and indoor air quality.

Keinala said the wake-up call for the nation and its people to move on towards a better and cleaner world was over five decades back, when the pulp and paper industries were already obliterating their lakes and water systems.

Keinala was replying to Gulf Today’s observation—raised during the sustainable water management and solutions forum—that so much has been written about universal water problems since the 1980s and yet this essential resource has remained a challenge.

All these innovative solutions—apt for the “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” theme of the Expo 2020 Dubai—will not only be displayed but more importantly demonstrated at Helsinki’s “Lumi” or “Snowcapped Pavilion,” situated at the Mobility Sector of the expo complex.

Thirty globally-recognised Finnish companies alongside 100 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are participating—entrepreneurship having become a compelling anchor to the immense economic growth and stable society, strongly rooted on the free education provided to all of Finland’s citizens and residents until the post-graduate levels with sustaining monetary and logistics support from entities such as Business Finland.

On the significance of participating at regional and world expositions, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE)-Undersecretary of State for Economy Petri Peltonen, in his brief meeting with the journalists, said: “This is the main driver in our decision-making. We make sure there is an open flow of goods, services, intellectual property and labour force, enabling healthy trade environment and healthy competition for all.”

He added: “It is the most capable products, the most capable companies that are going to reap their share. That is really fueling economies. World expos are one of the opportunities to build trade avenues and connections.”

Prior, Peltonin stated: “If the world economy is booming, Finland is booming. If the world economy is not booming, then that will also have a great impact on the Finland economy.”

He had also said, in reference to Helsinki’s “open, fair multi-national trade policies: “We are for the growing of the cake instead of slicing and shrinking (it for everyone’s benefit).”

In that press meet, Keinala stressed: “Expo 2020 is very important because it is a strong government issue and will affect directly our (Finland-UAE) trade and relations.” The former MEAE Industrial Counsellor/ Finland at Expo 2017 Astana (Kazhakstan) commissioner general, added: “Joining the expo will definitely improve government relations between Finland and the UAE.”

“It is a tool to promote our portfolio investments. Of course, the (Finnish) companies themselves have to see the opportunities they have,” Peltonin rejoined.

Keinala said UAE-sourced materials will be used for the construction of the Arabian tent-like snowcapped “Lumi.”

“Lumi” features the Nordic and Finnish heritage and orientations towards, simplicity, functionality, innovation, craftsmanship and re-usability.

On the first floor is “Contemporary Finland.” The second floor is for business-to-business functions.

“The Country of A Thousand Lakes” was formerly a part of the mighty Swedish Empire.Finland’s first World Expo participation was at the April to Nov. 1900 “Paris International” wherein it held a joint pavilion with Russia upon the permission of the last Russian emperor, Nikolai II Aleksandrovich.

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