Finland‘s ambassador to the United States, Jukka Valtasaari, visited Atlanta last week to explore opportunities for Finnish technology firms in Georgia.

          His visit here follows a Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism trade mission to Finland last month, aimed at attracting Finnish technology companies to the state.

          Finnish firms have long had a presence in Georgia as equipment suppliers to pulp and paper companies here, said Mr. Valtasaari.  He pointed specifically to Finland-based Metso Paper Inc., a major supplier of equipment and technology for the paper industry, which relocated to the state from Charlotte, N.C. several years ago.

          Building on the decades-long business links between Georgia and Finland, he added that the location of Finnish telecommunications, information technology and biotechnology companies here would be an easy fit.

“The Finnish biotech industry needs to be global and quickly,” he said, explaining that the small size of the Finnish market made expansion internationally a necessity.

Approximately one in 10 biotechnology firms in Europe is a Finnish company, Mr. Valtasaari noted, largely a result of scientific expertise gleaned through Finland’s efforts since the 1970s to clean up its paper processing and production technologies.

          He added that research and partnerships through area universities were also a possibility.  

          For additional information, contact John Saunders, Finland’s honorary consul general in Atlanta, at (404) 315-3682.