The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and its Delegation for Entrepreneurship have selected the recipients of EK’s annual Ambassador Awards. The awards were granted to Ritva Koukku-Ronde (Ambassador to India) and Marjut Akola (Ambassador to Romania), whom companies praise for their excellent business approach in identifying opportunities in these export markets. In addition, a special award was granted to Team Finland in Russia. The Finnish missions to Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, have provided companies with invaluable help amidst the difficult circumstances.
“The past year has further highlighted the importance of public export services,” says Tuomas Pere (Pintos Oy), Chair of EK’s Delegation for Entrepreneurship, and Bengt Westerholm (Beweship Oy), Chair of the Internationalisation and Reform Group.
“The ambassadors and the other Team Finland professionals have responded to export companies’ need for help with a highly professional approach and great effort. Your expertise has been invaluable in order to overcome acute shocks and seizing new market opportunities. We would like to thank every one of you for this!”
“Your work continues to be vital. Geopolitics and protectionism are bringing additional challenges, while the green transition and digitalisation are creating unique opportunities for Finnish companies.”
In 2022, EK’s Ambassador Awards were granted for the fourth time, on the following grounds:
Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Finland’s Ambassador to India, has used her multifaceted expertise and broad and varied experience for the benefit of Finnish companies. Her active and determined approach has strengthened Finland’s country image and helped companies in various ways in the demanding Indian market. Under the supervision of Ambassador Koukku-Ronde, the Finnish Embassy in India and the Fincham in India network formed by Business Finland and Finnish companies have created new kind of cooperation between the private and public sectors. Companies also commend Koukku-Ronde for her active participation in discussions on social media.
Marjut Akola, Finland’s Ambassador to Romania, has systematically identified opportunities for Finnish companies in the Romanian market, which is partly unknown to Finnish operators. Under her supervision, members of the Team Finland network have actively provided companies with access to market opportunities based on the recovery funding by the EU and member states. Ambassador Akola has openly shared valuable information about Finland’s offering and new market opportunities in Romania through social media and other channels. Companies also commend her for her excellent attitude: she is easy to reach and always ready to help with export challenges.
Team Finland in Russia was recognised for its exceptional role in supporting companies since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The Finnish missions to Moscow and St Petersburg and offices in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk, as well as the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, have helped companies overcome unprecedented challenges caused by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. These organisations successfully and instantly shifted their focus from promoting exports to managing the acute crisis. They have provided companies with realistic and real-time status information and invaluable advice concerning sanctions and withdrawal from Russia, for example.
Marjut Akola, Finland’s Ambassador to Romania
Team Finland in Russia: Antti Helanterä (Moscow), Jaana Rekolainen (FRCC) and Sannamaaria Vanamo (St. Petersburg).