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Outi Mäkelä is a second-term Member of Parliament for the National Coalition Party. She also acts as the President of the Uusimaa Regional Board and the Chair of the Nurmijärvi Municipal Board.To create new opportunities for itself, Finland must bolster its international relationships. We must not only have expertise in export but also be able to attract the interest of investors and international workforce alike. With the modern world growing increasingly more international, Finland will be enriched by multiculturalism.

Uusimaa, with the Metropolitan area at its heart, is a natural gateway to the rest of the country. The region has also invested in its role as the gateway to Finland, ensuring that overseas connections are good, the region is easy to relocate to and integration happens naturally. Organisations operating in the region have been involved through various projects, which has led to the creation of numerous practices and models that can also be applied elsewhere in the country.

A perfect example of a community that has excelled in work to embrace internationality is the village of Ohkola in Mäntsälä, the 2014 winner of the Uusimaa Village of the Year award. Receptive to the outside world, Ohkola is a modern rural village, which has long participated in various projects, student exchange programmes and exchange programmes related to recreational activities with great open-mindedness. In 2013, the Ohkola school was involved in more than 30 projects with numerous countries, including Azerbaidzhan, Tunisia, Russia, Sweden and Estonia, which has clearly increased open-minded attitudes towards, and interest in, other cultures.

Currently, two thirds of net migration to Uusimaa is due to immigration. The number of Uusimaa residents with a language other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami as their first language has grown more than ten-fold between 1990 and 2013, from 14,000 to 158,500.

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