Ambassador Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia of the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Ms. Tiina Larvala of the Parliament of Finland and Minister Raul Dado of the soon-to-be established Philippine Embassy in Stockholm
5 February 2020, Helsinki – A small but steady increase of Filipino professionals and skilled workers are finding their way into Finland, which is seen as a welcome, if not necessary, trend in this Nordic country. Coupled with the recent announcement by the Finnish Government to open an Embassy in Manila, the present is indeed promising for expanding the relations between the Philippines and Finland.
In warmly receiving Ambassador Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia of the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Ms. Tiina Larvala, Committee Counsel of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Parliament of Finland, agreed that the opening of the Finnish Embassy in Manila is a recognition of the opportunities for closer Philippines-Finland relations. Ambassador Batoon-Garcia mentioned specific areas of cooperation that the Philippines would like to pursue, such as healthcare, education, energy, IT, environment including forest management, and Finnish investments within the “Build, Build, Build” program of President Rodrigo Duterte.
There are two hundred members of the Finnish Parliament, elected for a term of four years. The Parliament has 16 permanent special committees and the Grand Committee which focuses mainly on EU affairs. On the day of the visit of Ambassador Batoon-Garcia, the Finnish Parliament was having its Opening Session. The Ambassador plans to visit the Parliament again to meet with some of the members of the Foreign Relations Committee. End