Speech by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö at business luncheon in Mexico City on 26 May 2015

I am very grateful to be present in this networking lunch enhancing the economic relations between Finnish and Mexican businessmen and government representatives. We are gathered here today to create new contacts and projects and strengthen the existing ones. But first and foremost we are gathered here to make new friends!
Ladies and gentlemen,

This is my first visit to Mexico. I am already impressed of the solid grounds as well as the new energy and dynamism occurring today in Mexico’s economy. Mexico has been able to diversify its economy and it is clear that Mexico is becoming more and more dynamic and competitive and is internationally very important. Much of the groundwork has been laid for future growth.

From the Finnish and international perspective, Mexico is offering extremely interesting opportunities for investment and economic cooperation. You have shown both resolve and determination by making new and bold reforms, by maintaining good macroeconomic policies and by enhancing your competitiveness. When one adds a young labor force, highly developed infrastructure and favourable demographics, the formula for success is ready. This is why we are seeing a growing presence of Finnish companies in Mexico.

Today, Mexico is one of the most important countries for Finland in Latin America. The annual trade amounts to more than 500 Million EUR. There are 35 Finnish companies established in Mexico, 10 have production and another 70 work through local representatives. This means that we are on the right track. But there is still a lot of potential and there are many untapped opportunities.

What makes this event even more interesting is that Finnish and Mexican economies are very complementary and we have many trade opportunities we can work together on. Yesterday several cooperation agreements between Mexico’s and Finnish institutions and companies were signed in education, trade, forestry, among others. I believe that only our imagination stands in the way of achieving more.

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I am here not only to praise the Mexican dynamism, but also to show how we could achieve more, by working together, hand in hand.  Finland, like other Nordic countries, is associated with reliability, stability and functionality, even so that it has become an anecdote. “We walk the walk, we don’t only talk the talk”. With our modern infrastructure, diversified energy production – with over 30 per cent of electricity coming from renewable energy sources -, and a highly developed logistical network we are perfectly situated as the northern gateway to Europe.

We have world-class innovation system and level of education with close cooperation between universities and companies. We have an active start-up ecosystem attracting investment. Helsinki hosts the largest start-up and investor event in Europe, Slush, in November. My challenge for all of you here today is to find new ways to combine our strengths and produce concrete results for mutual benefit.

The Finnish companies will present themselves during the lunch but I would like to mention that many business leaders present here today reprecent companies which are among global leaders in their fields. They will show their expertise and knowledge in among others energy, ICT, mining, offshore construction, waste management and meteorology.

I hope you enjoy this lunch with good company and wish you all the best with the current and future projects between our beautiful countries Mexico and Finland.