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Finland looking to develop innovative partnerships with Azerbaijan in energy efficiency (Exclusive)

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Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16

By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:

Finland is looking to develop innovative partnerships with Azerbaijan, for example in the fields of energy efficiency and circular economy, Päivi Peltokoski, Head of Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland told Trend.

"Finland and Azerbaijan have excellent relations. Our common history dates back to the turn of the 20th century when a large Finnish community was working in Azerbaijan for newly booming oil industry. Today Finland is one of the leading cleantech nations and we are looking to develop innovative partnerships with Azerbaijan, for example in the fields of energy efficiency and circular economy," she said.

Peltokoski said that in addition to trade, the two countries have active cooperation in several areas ranging from cultural activities to education.

"For instance, The Finnish Meteorological Institute has just successfully concluded a project on upgrading the National Environmental Monitoring System of Azerbaijan. Finland and Azerbaijan are also partners through the EU Eastern Partnership framework. As part of the European Union, we welcome the positive developments in the EU-Azerbaijan relations, including the negotiations of the new framework agreement that will deepen our cooperation," she added.

Peltokoski also talked about the investment opportunities between the two countries.

"We Finns are proud to be known for our education system, well-functioning infrastructure, ICT, environmentally sustainable technologies and strong investment in innovation systems. Finland has ranked well in international comparisons measuring competitiveness, quality of export products, innovation and anti-corruption. All this makes Finland a good home for investments," she said.

As an export-oriented nation, Finland has a lot to offer in international markets, according to Peltokoski.

"As a country with top-level basic research and highest engineers per capita, Finland has leading technology companies. In addition to manufacture and paper industry, we offer energy efficiency and cleantech solutions. We can share our knowhow in education, construction, biotechnology, bioeconomy and digitalization," she said

Peltokoski said that over 2000 Finnish companies are active in the cleantech sector developing innovative clean technologies and new business models.

"The share of renewable energy in Finland is already over 40 per cent - among the highest in Europe. Our target is to increase this share to more than 50 per cent during the 2020s through bioenergy and other emission-free renewable energy. This is the future. In short, Finland can offer sustainable solutions for Azerbaijan in its reforms aimed at diversifying the economy away from the dominant oil and gas sector," she said.

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