The FBCC would like to extend our gratitude to Päivi Luostarinen, the former Ambassador of Finland in the UK for her time here and collaboration with the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce. She began her post on the 1st of September 2015 and much has happened since. She tells about her experience in Helsingin Sanomat, one of the largest newspapers in Finland. You can read the article in Finnish here.
In the article she reflects on her time in the UK and how Brexit changed the content of diplomacy. The article states that it was surprising how poorly British politicians were prepared for Brexit and how little has changed in the past three years. There is still no consensus on what is going to happen and now a new Prime Minister must be found. Brexit has brought up the oddities of British politics.
However, the Ambassador’s position includes much more than just analysing and trying to predict the political situation. It also includes public diplomacy, which means spreading the word about Finland and celebrating every time it is mentioned in the press. Finland has a good reputation in the UK, but it is not very well known. Brits are interested in things they can benefit from as well, such as education, healtch technology, the housing crisis and equality.
Even though the Brexit process is still unfinished, the former Ambassador urges Finnish people, companies and communities to maintain relationships with the UK. It is still worth working and studying in the UK and Brexit will not stop trade. “The UK will remain an important trade partner in Europe, because they have a lot to give”, she says.
Päivi Luostarinen will now return to Helsinki to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland. Following her as the new Ambassador of Finland in the UK starting on the 1st of June 2019 is Mr Markku Keinänen. We look forward to more great years of collaboration with the Ambassador and the rest of Team Finland in the UK!