Kazakhstan and Finland are interested in further development and strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation across the whole spectrum of relations, with a special focus on green technologies. Success of EXPO-2017 in Astana and Finland's participation in it have laid the foundation for such collaboration. This and other topics were discussed at Nov. 22-23 meetings in Helsinki of Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko with Finnish partners in governmental, legislative and business circles.
A newly created “QazFinnTec" Kazakh-Finnish centre for the transfer of green technologies in the Finnish capital has been hailed as a key event in bilateral relations. The centre set up by private Finnish companies with an active assistance from the Kazakh Embassy in Helsinki aims to facilitate implementation of projects in Kazakhstan with the use of advanced Finnish technologies in such areas as the use of renewable energy sources, recycling of household waste into biogas, sewage treatment and others.
In his welcoming speech at a special presentation in Helsinki, Vassilenko noted QazFinnTec's timely launch in light of the importance of securing the legacy of EXPO-2017, as well as convergence of fast-growing Asian markets with high-tech Europe. Vassilenko emphasised the significance of this initiative in light of Kazakhstan's policy of political, economic and social modernisation put forward Kazakh President Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. This policy's priorities reflect the conceptual vision of the state development strategic tasks up to 2050 and the country's role in ensuring global sustainable development.
The activity of the new centre supported by the Energy Ministry of Kazakhstan and the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) will also contribute to strengthening Kazakhstan's role as the leading industrial, innovative, technological, financial and logistics hub in Central Asia.
State Secretary for Foreign Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland Markku Keinänen gave high marks to the prospects for cooperation within the framework of the established Centre. He stressed Kazakhstan's modernisation strategy was of great importance in the context of entire Central Asia's development. In his opinion, Finland's participation in EXPO-2017, which included visits by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and other sectorial ministers, has given new quality substance to bilateral relations, spurred growing interest of Finnish and international businesses in Kazakhstan, and identified new niches for cooperation. “Today, there are unique opportunities for mutually complementary and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries on the basis of AIFC, the International Centre for the Transfer of Green Technologies, and the International Park of IT Start-ups," concluded Keinänen.
As part of his Helsinki visit, Vassilenko also held bilateral meetings with members of the Finnish Parliament Eero Heinäluoma and Ilkka Kanerva, State Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office Samuli Virtanen, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Peter Stenlund, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Employment Petri Peltonen and Adviser to the President on Foreign Policy Hiski Haukkala.
The sides discussed the status and prospects of bilateral cooperation, noted the importance of maintaining political dialogue on urgent international issues, expressed their readiness to make joint efforts in promoting cooperation, including during Kazakhstan's presidency in the UN Security Council in 2018 and Suomi's presidency in the European Union in the second half of 2019. The parties noted the constructive role both nations play in international affairs, their desire to strengthen dialogue and search for mutually acceptable compromises as the most preferable mechanisms for resolving problems in international politics.
An official event to mark the upcoming Independence Day of Kazakhstan was also held in Helsinki on Nov. 23 with a performance of “Forte Trio" Classical Music Orchestra.