Finland reopened its embassy in Manila after almost a decade in apparent recognition of the importance of Asia in world economy and geopolitics.
Finnish Ambassador H.E. Juha Markus Pyykkö was among the seven new ambassadors welcomed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday 2 December in Malacañang. The ambassadors presented their credentials to the President online in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
Finland’s embassy in the Philippines opened last September, Pyykkö said when he presented his credentials to Duterte.
Finland closed its embassy in Manila in 2012 due to cuts in foreign service appropriations, but things have changed.
The main reasons behind the reopening, according to Pyykkö were:
- To facilitate more business interactions between the Philippines and Finland
- To strengthen Finland’s immigration services in Manila
- To provide a more solid basis and security policy analysis in Asia which has become an important region in geopolitics
Pyykkö said he hoped that the relations of the Philippines and Finland would get further boost during his tour of duty.
Some of the business potentials between the two countries that the Finnish ambassador sees included the development of sustainable and smart cities, renewable energy, health technology and education.
President Duterte, meanwhile, acknowledged Finland’s support for the peace process in the Philippines throughout the years.
According to Enquirer, the President said “We are particularly interested in expanding ties, particularly in information and communications technology, renewable energy, and clean technology.”
Ambassador Pyykkö paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday 4 December 2020 and discussed several areas of cooperation ranging from economic opportunities, tourism, education to other regional and international issues, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement.