Finland 100! One hundred year history of an independent Modern Welfare State

FinnCham Brazil was one of the sponsors for this memorable evening in São Paulo

Finland 100! in São Paulo was a great night that will be present in the memory of the participants for a long time. This was the general feeling after the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the independence of Finland, a wonderful party that took place at Renaissance Hotel. The cocktail-dinner invitees were resident Finns, executives of Finnish companies, representatives of the foreign Consular community, government officials and agencies, distinguished guests from trade councils, cultural and academic institutions, among others.

With the opening of Brazil, Finland and European Union anthems, over 350 guests attended the reception with multimedia presentations in two screens and in an environment with illumination using the colors of the Finnish flag.

Mr. José Renato Nalini, State Secretary of Education, on behalf of the Governor of the State of São Paulo (Geraldo Alckmin), made a speech emphasizing the importance and relevance of Finland for the cultural and technological exchange and development.

FinnCham Brazil's Chairman of the Board, Mr. Jan Jarne spoke that Finland has transformed over the last 100 years of Independence into a Modern State of the highest welfare, equality of genres, excellence in education and a knowledge-based economy. But remembered that these last 100 years are a more recent episode in Finland's 10,000-year history of Finnish ancestors who have preserved linguistic and ethnic identity. In spite of wars and strife between the neighbors of the West and the East, and unlike many other countries of Europe, Finland did not experience a feudal structure of landless peasants.

He emphasized that Brazil and Finland have a tradition as business partners. "More recently, both countries seek greater engagement in the field of education, technology and innovation. The tradition of good relations and mutual trust between Brazilians and Finns brings great expectations of growth" - said Jarne.

In his speech, the Ambassador of Finland to Brazil, Mr. Markku Virri said that from the outset Finland has been a democracy that aims to ensure the well-being, freedom and security of its citizens. “Finland's international position and its status as Western democracy and a Nordic welfare state were consolidated even more strongly in 1995 when our country became a member of the European Union and then participated in the main agreements, including the euro”, added Mr. Virri.

The Ambassador thanked the City Hall for lighting important city monuments using the colors of Finland, as a tribute and part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary.

Mr. Jarne took the opportunity of the occasion to announce his retirement as the Honorary Consul General of Finland in São Paulo, “Once past the mandatory age of our Ministry, it has been an honor to serve the mutual interests of Finland and Brazil over the past 15 years.” He will continue to participate actively in Team Finland as a permanent member of the Board of FinnCham Brazil. The Ambassador expressed the gratitude of the Government of Finland to Mr. Jarne for his efficient work and the valuable long-standing contributions. “His work and contributions were indispensable and paved the way for the decision to establish a Finnish diplomatic mission in São Paulo.”

Ambassador Virri announced that new Consulate's premises were opened two month earlier with four main business areas: economic and commercial matters, consulate matters, science and education, and culture and image of the country.

During the ceremonial celebrations, 6 Finnish companies were recognized as “Key Companies of Excellence” with awarding of engraved plaques for their contribution towards the enhancement and expansion of relations between Brazil and Finland. The Ambassador handed the awards to the following recipients:

  • Nokia, received by Cleri Inhauser, Country Senior Officer
  • Metso, received by Marcelo Meraio, Director Finance and Admin
  • Pöyry, received by Fábio Bellotti da Fonseca, President
  • Stora Enso, received by Alexandre Nicolini, Country Manager
  • Valmet, received by Celso Tacla, President for South America, and
  • Wärtsilä, received by Ville Packalén, Director, South America.

In addition, the Fundação Rotarianos de São Paulo also was honored for its invaluable contribution to relations with Brazil and to the exchange of best practices in education. Mr. Marco Rossi, Superintendent of the Foundation, received the award.

Check below the photo gallery of the event:

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