Finland regions

CLI’s top official is Finland’s 1st Honorary Consul in Cebu

THE Finnish government opened its Honorary Consulate in Cebu for the first time with its new Honorary Consul in Cebu, Jose Franco Soberano, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cebu Landmasters Inc., a real estate developer based in Cebu. Cebu.

Finland only reopened its embassy in the Philippines in September 2020 after it was closed in 2012.

The office of the Consulate of Finland in Cebu City is located at Park Centrale Tower in Cebu IT Park.

Finland’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Juha Pyykkö on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, told reporters that the reopening of the Embassy and the two consular offices in Cebu and Davao, signals the country’s commitment to increasing its presence in the Philippines. .

He said Cebu is an important business center outside of Metro Manila which offers immense opportunities for Finnish companies to explore and invest.

The envoy said having Soberano on board as a link between Finland and the Visayas is a welcome development.

“I really appreciate Franco’s personality from the first meeting we had. He has the right spirit and approach for this task as Honorary Consul. We are truly honored and happy to have him,” said Pyykko.

Apart from providing visas and consular services to Finns and Filipinos, Pykkö said Finland wants to restore economic ties with the Philippines, citing the country as one of the key and powerful players in the ASEAN region.

“We will help make it easier for Finnish companies to enter the Philippines,” Pyykkö said. “We wanted to promote Finnish know-how in the region.

Pyykkö said Finland and the Philippines can work together to explore business opportunities, as the former could contribute expertise and share best practices in education, technology, digitalization, economy circular, renewable energy and smart city solutions and sustainability.

“There really is a lot of potential for Finland and the Philippines, and Cebu in particular, to work together. Finland is a well-run country with a high rate of transparency and good access to social services. It is one of the economically dynamic and stable countries,” Soberano said.

The senior CLI official, who serves as a link between Finland and the Visayas, said the two could learn from each other, especially in terms of building smart and sustainable developments.

Bilateral exchange

In 2020, the Philippines exported US$109 million to Finland. The main products exported by the Philippines to Finland are office machine parts, integrated circuits and processed fish.

Over the past 25 years, exports from the Philippines to Finland have grown at an annualized rate of 2.92%, from $52.9 million in 1995 to $109 million in 2020.

In 2020, the Philippines did not export any services to Finland.

In 2020, Finland exported $168 million to the Philippines. The main products exported by Finland to the Philippines were other uncoated papers, coins and generators.

Over the past 25 years, Finland’s exports to the Philippines have grown at an annualized rate of 2.14%, from $99.1 million in 1995 to $168 million in 2020.

In 2016, Finland exported services to the Philippines worth $138 million, with computer and information services, construction services and other business services being the largest in terms of value.