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Weekly notes – Week 36

Finland's presence in the vital East Asian markets is beefed up by an expansion of Team Finland...


“Weekly notes” is a series of blogs offering an insight into the topical issues being discussed each week by Sitra’s research and strategy team.

Sitra’s ongoing strategic monitoring and research project on East Asia is being expanded as part of the Team Finland partnership, with Teppo Turkki becoming a shared specialist resource for Sitra, Tekes, Finpro and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The concept of Team Finland – a network of organisations that promotes Finland and its interests abroad – became more clearly defined this week as Finpro relaunched itself, offering services aimed at Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to move into the international market.

For these reasons, this has been a good week to announce that the four organisations that make up Team Finland in East Asia – Sitra, Tekes, Finpro and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs – will pilot a new type of partnership in the region.

Sitra, Tekes, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finpro launch new type of Team Finland co-operation in East Asia

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Finpro will embark on a new type of co-operation in East Asia under the Team Finland initiative. The aim will be to secure shared specialist resources. Currently based in Taiwan, Teppo Turkki, Sitra’s leading specialist on East Asia, will continue working on behalf of the Team Finland Asian Future Watch foresight project in Taipei City. He will also be responsible for promoting the interests of Finnish operators via Finpro.

As part of Asian Future Watch, which is led by Tekes, Turkki’s main focus will be on Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. Future Watch is monitoring changes in business opportunities in the region and developments in the business environment over a two to five-year time frame. It is providing new information on changes and trends in international markets, to be fed into the development of Finnish businesses.

Three years ago, Sitra launched a strategic research and monitoring project focusing on East Asia. This will be continued as part of the Team Finland co-operation. A further focus will be on analysing and understanding the global paradigm shift caused by the rise of Asia – a change that poses an ever greater challenge to Finland’s economic competitiveness and cultural competence.

“East Asia is one of world’s key hubs in terms of new knowledge and innovation,” says Turkki. “It is therefore vital that Finland has its own specialists on site, analysing the global shift in economic and political focus and how this will compel Finland to reposition itself in a globalising world.”

Team Finland’s operating model brings together key Finnish operators, both in Finland and abroad. Co-operation between Sitra, Tekes, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finpro is aimed at developing a flexible, efficient operating model for sharing specialist resources and strengthening co-operation between publicly funded organisations operating abroad and those responsible for Finland’s external economic relations.

Teppo Turkki (MSocSc) has acted as Sitra’s leading specialist on East Asia since 2012. For the last two years, he has worked as a visiting researcher, posted by Sitra, in the Institute of International Relations (IIR) of the National Chengchi University in Taipei City. Turkki has written books on Japan and Korea and has worked as a visiting researcher at Waseda University in Japan.

Teppo Turkki is the head of Finland’s Trade and Innovation Office in Taipei City.

For further information, please contact:

Teppo Turkki: Tel. +886 925101958.

Director Paula Laine – Sitra tel. +358 294 618 487

Read more on Sitra’s East Asia work here.

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