Prime Minister Sipilä met the presidents of three Latin American countries
Prime Minister Sipilä visited Colombia, Peru and Bolivia in 23–27 October and met with the presidents and several ministers from the three countries. In Colombia, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Embassy of Finland in Bogotá, marking at the same time the centenary of Finland’s independence.
In Colombia, Prime Minister Sipilä discussed the development of bilateral and economic relations with President Juan Manuel Santos, Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín and Minister of Education Yaneth Giha.
“President Santos and I talked about the importance of education for the development of society. Finland has been building on the foundations of free and equal education during its hundred years of independence. President Santos explained that Colombians consider the developing of the education sector a major factor promoting sustainable peace especially in rural areas,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.
Prime Minister Sipilä and President Santos also attended a meeting of Colombian and Finnish companies. A business delegation of 15 Finnish companies in the fields of education, cleantech, energy and cybersecurity accompanied the Prime Minister on this Team Finland trade mission. Finnish companies are increasingly interested in the Colombian markets following the peace process’ progress and economic growth.
Prime Minister Sipilä attended the inauguration ceremony for the Embassy of Finland in Bogotá, which also celebrated the 100 years of Finland’s independence.
“Opening an embassy in Colombia will take our countries’ relations a step forward. I believe that there is considerably growth potential in trade between our countries. Finnish companies can offer Colombia technology and knowledge to help the country develop further. I hope that the Embassy of Finland in Bogotá and stronger economic relations between our countries will also support the Colombian peace process,” the Prime Minister said.
In Bolivia, Prime Minister Sipilä met with President Evo Morales and Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacun and discussed with them the countries’ bilateral relations and especially the possibilities for further economic cooperation. The Prime Minister also visited the village of Guaqui in the Tiwanaku valley, where he participated in the opening of the local town hall.
In Peru, Prime Minister Sipilä discussed bilateral relations, regional integration and development, and global issues with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Prime Minister Mercedes Aráoz and Minister of the Environment Elsa Galarza. Regarding the development of bilateral economic relations, Sipilä brought up the possibilities for cooperation in the fields of education, mining, clean energy, cybertechnology and forestry.
Inquiries: Jani Raappana, Special Adviser (international affairs), tel. +358 295 160 306, and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 50 468 5302; Ari Mäki, Director, Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 595; Tomi Rauste, Head of Regions Americas, Finpro, tel. +1-202 769 7027