Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, and Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, during the official dinner in Helsinki on 5th April, 2017. President Xi’s state visit to Finland has dominated the headlines this week.


President Xi’s state visit of Finland had the international media stirring this week, inspiring a slew of articles from all directions. The Global Times wrote about the growing economic relationship between China and Finland, while the Financial Times reported on Finland’s role in improving Chinese-American relations.

In other news, a Finnish artist draws attention to tax avoidance and phenomenon-based learning is rumored to be heading to Finland. Oh, and did you hear about the giant pandas?

Finland fears trade war between US and China, urges compromise
Financial Times

“Finland has warned it is “highly concerned” about the prospect of a global trade war and urged compromise from Beijing and Washington.

Kai Mykkanen, Finland’s trade minister, who met Chinese president Xi Jinping on Wednesday, told the Financial Times that the world was at a critical juncture after the end of a two decade-long “golden time” for globalisation, and amid the rise of nationalist and protectionist sentiment. 

“This is one of the most crucial years [since the collapse of the Soviet Union]. Maybe this nationalism goes further and we enter into something that might be very uncomfortable for our lifestyles. Or we find a synthesis between the US and China,” he added.”

Original article was published by on 06/04/2017 and can be found here.

Finnish industries attractive to Chinese firms
Global Times

“The economic relationship between China and Finland has seen burgeoning growth in recent years thanks to the development of competitive Finnish industries such as clean energy and advanced manufacturing, officials and company executives said.

They also noted that an increasing number of Finnish firms are looking to expand their presence in the Chinese market due to the huge consumer base and the government's agenda of promoting an industrial upgrade and green economy.

"The speed at which Chinese firms' investments have flowed to Finland in the last two years is remarkable, and that made the country jump to the fifth largest destination for foreign investment in Europe last year," Yang Erlin, the chairman of Chinese Enterprises Association in Finland, told the Global Times over the weekend.”

Original article was published by on 04/04/2017 and can be found here.

Finnish artist satirizes tax avoidance loopholes in Finland
Business Insider Nordic

“A few years back, Hanna Arvela was at her summer cottage in central Finland trying to relax, but she was unable to get something out of her mind. She had gotten wind of legal tax evasion practices that she thought only existed in locations far from her beloved Finland.

While most people show their outrage with an “I can’t believe that happens!” or a sharply placed angry emoji, Arvela decided to do something about it.

In 2015, she released Pieni veronkierto-opas (Little guide for tax avoidance), which was presented in her more familiar comic book form. This is only one of Arvela’s many projects to highlight the issue of avoiding tax in Finland by using holding companies.”

Original article was published by on 05/04/2017 and can be found here.

Finland to get rid of school subjects?
Collective Evolution

“Finland, a longstanding leader in education, is in the process of completely reforming its education system. Finland will be adopting a “phenomenon-based learning” system, allowing students to drop the standard subjects and experience more holistic, interdisciplinary learning.

Phenomenon-based learning takes a very different approach to education, dropping the classic divide amongst subjects like math and science. Instead, students take one particular phenomenon or concept and look at it through multiple lenses, applying it to whatever subjects pertain to it such as geography, history, or economics.”

Original article was published by on 04/04/2017 and can be found here.

China gives giant pandas to Finland

“Finland will receive two giant pandas from China as a gesture of friendship during the Nordic country’s 100th anniversary of independence this year.

The two countries today signed a cooperation agreement over giant panda research and protection as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official state visit to Finland.

The agreement means that a giant panda couple will be sent from China to Ähtäri Zoo, which is located in the western part of Finland.”

Original article was published by on 05/04/2017 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson – HT

Photo: Lehtikuva / Antti Aimo-Koivisto