Roy Eriksson, Finland Ambassador to Mexico
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MEXICONOW. - Please tell us how close is the relationship between Mexico and Finland?
Ambassador Eriksson. - The relationship between Finland and Mexico is very good. We are celebrating the 80th anniversary of friendly relations and we have had resident embassies in both countries for over 50 years. A new impetus or momentum in the relationship was given by the state visit of the Finnish President Mr. Sauli Niinistö last year in May. During this visit several agreements were signed e.g. between Finnish and Mexican universities or institutions. One of the agreements was an agreement between Finpro and ProMexico to coordinate efforts in promoting commerce between the two countries.
What is the current situation of the commercial relationship between Finland and Mexico?
The trade between Finland and Mexico is modest and there is a lot of potential in increasing it. At the moment Finnish companies see a lot of new possibilities in the energy, telecommunications and mining sectors as well as education. There is also potential in health and well being.
How do you grade the competitiveness of Mexico for Foreign Investment?
Mexico has been quite successful in attracting foreign investments. The new reforms, the openness of the economy, the highly skilled workforce and geographical location, to mention a few, are factors behind the success. We see that within the Finnish companies, Mexico is becoming the most potential country for investments in Latin America. In this moment, there are some 37 Finnish companies established in Mexico, some 10 companies with production facilities and more than 80 with a representation.
Which are the areas of opportunity that you see in terms to strengthen relations between Finland and Mexico?
The substantial reforms that have been made in Mexico during recent years have opened new possibilities not only for Finnish companies but also others. At the moment, we are excited about the investments generated by the recent telecommunications reform; this will create a totally new environment for doing business in the telecommunication sector. When all the elements that compose the reform are implemented, Mexico will leapfrog into a global powerhouse of innovation in cloud services and Internet of things. Other sectors, in which we see opportunities for growth, are education, energy, environment, and mining to mention a few.
What is your plan of action at the Embassy in terms to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Finland and Mexico?
Next year is our centennial anniversary of independence. The Embassy of Finland in Mexico will use this opportunity to further strengthening our bilateral relations. Our anniversary theme is labeled "environmental issues", where I can see ample opportunities for collaboration. In my strategic plan of action for my tenure here in Mexico I gave a bold statement: "It is my endeavor to double the trade between Finland and Mexico during my four years as Ambassador in Mexico".
How do you grade Mexico´s Information Technology Industry?
The IT sector is developing rapidly in Mexico. As I mentioned before, the projects of the telecom reform are a game changer. As a collateral effect of the reform there will be cheap bandwidth to companies, which can lead to completely new kind of services. This is a very exciting time to be in Mexico following how this sector is developing.
Which areas of opportunity are being seen by Companies from Finland to invest in Mexico?
There are already some Finnish companies here in Mexico e.g. in the automotive sector. I see possibilities in the energy sector, in the so-called waste to energy field, in new digital services as well as clean technology.
What is the level of satisfaction of companies from Finland with their operations in Mexico?
We have some companies that have been in Mexico already decades and many have expanded their operations in the country. What I have learned is that there is skilled labor available here and normally the business practices are easy. The only complaint I have heard is the sometimes long processing times for tax rebates.
Any last comment for the MexicoNOW subscribers?
I am pleased to say that your publication is of high quality touching very topical issues concerning Mexico.