Finland and South Korea to deepen their cooperation in the fields of energy, SMEs and start-ups, and innovations

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 10.6.2019 13.59 | Published in English on 11.6.2019 at 17.58
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Finland and South Korea to deepen their cooperation in the fields of energy, SMEs and start-ups, and innovations
Kuva: Juhani Kandell / Tasavallan presidentin kanslia

President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in and his spouse Kim Jung-sook are currently on a state visit to Finland. The visit will be hosted by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio. Topics discussed during the state visit of President Jae-in on 9–11 June 2019 include trade issues, therefore the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is the key discussion partner and co-signatory of many of the Memorandums of Understanding (MoU). These MoUs are meant to serve as an umbrella agreement for the development of cooperation between the two countries.

In connection with the visit of the President of the Republic of Korea Jae-in, the MoU on Strengthening Cooperation on Energy between the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Finland's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment was signed by Katri Kulmuni, Minister of Economic Affairs, on behalf of Finland.  Minister Kulmuni also signed the MoU on Cooperation in the Fields of Small and Medium Enterprises, Start-ups and Innovation between Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland and the South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

The objective of the MoU on Strengthening Cooperation on Energy is to accelerate the energy transition from fossil fuels to clean energy with joint development projects. Cooperation may focus on fields such as clean energy technologies, renewable energy, and future energy systems such as smart grids and energy storage systems.

The objective of the MoU on Cooperation in the Fields of Small and Medium Enterprises, Start-ups and Innovation is to widen the cooperation between start-ups and SMEs, and to build stronger networks between innovation actors and the business sector in the two countries.

Finland and South Korea are both globally leading information societies that invest in training and education, research, and technological development.  Increasing trade and innovation cooperation between the two countries could help both economies succeed in the global competition. During the visit, South Korea will announce the establishment of the “Korea StartUp Center” in Finland, which will serve as a business and innovation incubator, and foster the commercialisation of innovations.

A Memorandum of Understanding on a Joint Response to the Digital Economy will be signed later.

Finland and South Korea engaged in active cooperation in talent exchange

Shortage of specialists is already holding back growth in Finland, but more international talent is also needed if Finland wants to succeed in the global competition for investments. South Korea is an interesting partner for Finland in terms of talent exchange. South Koreans are highly educated and have a high level of technology competence. Furthermore, in South Korea Finland is perceived as a country of equal opportunities and with a good balance between work and leisure. 

As part of the Talent Boost programme, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Business Finland launched recruitment events in spring 2019 targeting skilled specialists in South Korea.  The objective is to enter into extensive long-term cooperation, which will begin with the recruitment of technology specialists from South Korea, and measures to promote the mobility of startup teams between the countries.  In the longer term, the cooperation will also include trainee and student exchange programmes.

In connection with the state visit, the already active cooperation in talent exchange was further boosted by the signing of a special Talent Boost MoU by the Finnish and South Korean Ministers of Employment and the Finnish Minister of Science and Culture.  The MoU was signed by Timo Harakka, Minister of Employment, and Annika Saarikko, Minister of Science and Culture. Both countries will benefit from the talent exchange, and it will strengthen their position in the global economy. 

Main events of the state visit include a high-level business forum

One of the main events of the state visit is the high-level business forum on 11 June. Its objective is to promote networking and cooperation between Finnish and South Korean startups and SMEs. Participants include representatives from companies, financial and research institutions, and central government.

Inquiries:

MoU on Strengthening Cooperation on Energy:
Nina Alatalo, Special Adviser (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 8015
Juho Korteniemi, Senior Specialist (Energy), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 567 0715                 

MoU on Cooperation in the Fields of Small and Medium Enterprises, Start-ups and Innovation:
Nina Alatalo, Special Adviser (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 8015
Mari Hakkarainen, Ministerial Adviser (Innovations, Startups), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 434 4933

MoU on a Joint Response to the Digital Economy:
Mari Hakkarainen, Ministerial Adviser (Innovations, Startups), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 434 4933

MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Talent Exchange:
Laura Lindeman, Senior Specialist (Talent Boost), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 205