Canada and Finland relations
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:
- natural resources
Finland’s action plan “Finland and Canada – Northern Partners”, published in 2011, presents a number of concrete objectives for strengthening our bilateral cooperation.
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 area of:
- winter navigation
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 $2.7 billion in 2015. Canadian companies are among the largest private sector employers in Lapland, Finland.
Shared values and commitment to a rules-based international system provide the foundation for similar approaches to issues on the global agenda, such as:
- promotion of security
- democratic development
- environmental protection
- sustainable northern development
- indigenous affairs
Both Canada and Finland have played a very active role in:
- promoting and protecting human rights
- humanitarian assistance
- crisis management
Trade and investment
In the “Finland and Canada – Northern Partners” action plan (2011), Finland commits to enhance trade and innovation with Canada. In 2014, bilateral trade between Canada and Finland stood at nearly $2 billion. Canadian merchandise exports to Finland totaled $568 million and Finnish imports to Canada over $1.4 billion. Finland is a large investor in Canada and a priority market for investment attraction. At the end of 2016, the stock of direct investment from Finland into Canada was $820 million. Canadian direct investment in Finland was officially listed at $792 million for the same time. Interest from Canada towards the Finnish innovation system is strong among the Provinces and Territories, national organizations and federal departments. Several exchanges between Finland and Canada have occurred in this area in recent years, as well as on Finnish technology in forestry and bio-renewable energy.
Academic relations, youth mobility and culture
Finland has a renowned education system that encourages post-secondary student exchanges, making the country a good destination for Canadian students and also a source of highly-educated youth interested in studying in Canada. This student mobility lays the groundwork for important long-term economic and social connections between both nations. In the academic year 2013–2014, close to 250 Finnish students studied in Canada. Cultural cooperation between the two countries is vibrant, especially in:
- performing arts
- audiovisual production
There are roughly 130,000 Canadians who claim Finnish descent, served by a wide network of Finnish cultural and community organizations. In Finland, the Finnish–Canadian Society promotes closer ties between Finns and Canadians. In addition, Canadian indigenous groups have established regular exchanges with the Sámi indigenous people of northern Finland and Scandinavia.
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