LUNCHEON MEETING 21 MAY, 2002
Theme:
"Finland - Economic and Political Prospects"

Guest Speaker:
Ambassador Jaakko Iloniemi
RECAP
In his interesting and enlightening presentation Ambassador Iloniemi described the changes in the political environment, the development from depression to rapid change and growth and the economic prospects.

As we examine the main developments in Finland - and many studies on such issues have been recently published - we find that there are many changes of different, in part of contradictory nature. The political and economic environment where Finland is situated undergoes rapid and important change. The political system of Finland is under some pressure. The economy has seen rapid structural change and more is to be expected. Even in the social and welfare field there are major developments that will call for radical solutions.

Iloniemi concluded that it is often said that Finns are in many respect an island nation. On the map it does not seem to be but psychologically it is true. Since most of Finnish external relations point to the West, we have to cross a sea before we reach our destination. The mindset of an islander explains some of the Finnish characteristics. For us it is of greatest importance that we adapt ourselves to a Europe where the meaning of frontiers is disappearing and where cross cultural communication is the norm, not the exception. That is a challenge to the educational system and also to the nongovernmental organisations. The business community has already come a long way. The educational institutions are doing that busily. Our politicians spend much of their time in international meetings. It is time that all people, whatever their trade or profession, develop similar skills.

Full transcript of Ambassador Iloniemi's presentation,
  • IN ENGLISH
  • IN JAPANESE
  • IMAGES FROM THE MEETING
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    Ambassador Jaakko Iloniemi
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    Mr. Akinari Horii, Advisor the the Governor of the Bank of Japan ask a question.
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    FCCJ President Timo Varhama thanks the guest speaker.
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    Heikki Kasko, President of Nokia Japan Co.,Ltd. announces that he will leave Japan end of June.
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    The meeting held at the Take Room was attended by 33 persons.