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Home NATIONALA bigger market awaits Finland in US
Fri, 08 Apr, 2016 12:08:38 AM
US Ambassador Charles Adams, Jr. tells Finland Times
FTimes Report by Adicus Ryan Garton, Apr 8
US Ambassador Charles Adams, Jr. was talking to Finland Times in an exclusive interview in Rovaniemi on Wednesday. FTimes Photo by Jasim Sarker.
Rovaniemi is “a vibrant, dynamic community with a first-class university and research and development centres, a fine arts museum, and an excellent chamber orchestra,” said US Ambassador to Finland Charles Adams, Jr. This is his second visit to Rovaniemi since taking his current office in August 2015. He finds the city fantastic, and called it “impressive,” considering its relatively small population and its location halfway between Helsinki and the Arctic Ocean.
In an exclusive interview with the Finland Times on the sideline of the seventh Arctic Business Forum on Wednesday, Ambassador Adams characterised business opportunities between Rovaniemi and the US as very extensive. Coordinated by the Rovaniemi Chamber of Commerce, the US envoy had previously met with several companies from the Rovaniemi area that sell goods and services in the US market, including several ICT startups, the playground and outdoor sport equipment manufacturer Lappset, and the knife manufacturer Martiini, which, according to Adams, sells several million dollars worth of goods in the US. 
“I fully expect that these Rovaniemi-based or -related businesses are going to continue to expand their sales in the US, especially when the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) becomes a reality. Which we hope will be before the end of President Obama’s term.”
The ambassador has previously expressed his support for the trade agreement, which he believes will benefit Finnish businesses.
“TTIP itself is going to bring about a substantial boost in the volume of trade between Finland and the US, principally to the benefit of small- and medium-sized enterprises such as those operating from Rovaniemi.”
He termed bilateral relations between Finland and the US excellent.
“At the moment, I think the collaboration [between Finland and the US] is particularly strong. The relationship at all levels is close.” 
The ambassador believes that in recent years, Finland has paid more attention to its transatlantic relationship and bilateral dealings between the two countries, in addition to relations between the US and the EU.
“We are seeing [the proximity between the US and Finland] in many different ways: commercial dealings, bilateral direct investment transactions, political consultations, and military-to-military collaborations.” 
The ambassador says cooperation, trust and consultation between the two countries are optimal, and he expects this to continue into the indefinite future.
On Finland’s possible application for NATO membership, he said this was a matter for the Finnish people to decide for themselves.
“[The US] has made it clear that the door is wide open. And if, or when, Finland makes its sovereign determination to apply or not to apply for membership to NATO, that is a decision which the US will respect.” 
Next month, Finnish President Sauli Niinstö is expected to visit the US for the Nordic Summit, and the ambassador expressed the hope that he would attend the Summit.
“This will be an opportunity for the head of the Finnish government to participate in a very important gathering with the US president. And we fully expect that this summit meeting will signal further reinforcement of the ongoing relationship of collaboration between the US and all five of the Nordic countries.”
The ambassador believes that an English-language news media outlet in Finland is very important.
“There is an increasing awareness about and interest in the US in this region and [in Finland] in general. This is prompted by the combination of the geostrategic situation, the focus on the US as chairman of the Arctic Council, the imminent prospect of the Finnish succession to the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, and a preoccupation of the American public with climate change, global warming, and its impact on the Arctic regions.”
Finally, the ambassador praised Finland’s commitment to offering equal access to education, healthcare and government services to all people across the country, regardless of background.
“To me, this is really a remarkable achievement of the Finnish people and is something very much to be admired.”
He also spoke about the possible exist move of Britain from the European Union and said US President Barack Obama has already expressed the wish that Britain should remain in the European Union.
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