Marianne Nissilä, Ambassador of Finland to the United Arab Emirates
Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE and Finland celebrate their national days almost back to back – on 2 and 6 December respectively. First, the green, white, black and red colours of the UAE flag fly high, followed by the blue and white colours of the Finnish flag. Celebrations might differ but both nations are equally proud of their independence and achievements.

Finland and the UAE are geographically far away from each other but there is a lot of scope for deepening cooperation. The mutual interest has been confirmed by ministers, business people and tourists.

The pandemic has put face-to-face contacts on hold but areas of shared interest are easy to identify. Both countries are investing in a future based on knowledge and sustainability. Quality education, advanced research and bold innovations are seen as key to achieving this. Digitalisation, health technology as well as circular economies are in the limelight in both countries. An area where Finland stands ready to share its know-how is happiness. Finland has been ranked the world’s happiest nation in three consecutive years.

It does not come as a surprise that the main theme of the Finnish Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai will be Sharing Future Happiness. Finland and 100+ participating Finnish companies are looking forward to the opening of the Expo in October 2021. I am convinced that Expo will work as a catalyst for more cooperation and trade between our countries in the post-COVID world.