THE REPUBLIC of Finland ambassador to the Solomon Islands on Thursday presented his letter of credentials to the Acting Governor General at the Government House in Honiara.
The newly appointed Finland ambassador is Lars Backstrom.
Speaking during a short ceremony to present his the letter of credence, Acting Governor General Jasper Nasiu said, Solomon Islands and Finland are located at the opposite sides of the world but shared common events of war.
“As you have rightly affirmed, historically, we share common events of war where fallen citizens have sacrificed their lives to form the foundation we build our countries on today,” Mr Nasiu said.
He said,it is true that the distance between the two countries is very great and this may have to some extent determined our bilateral interactions which remain at low scale.
“However, we are part of a wider global community and because of this; our engagement on a multilateral basis proves to be the most efficient way for countries such as ours to bring issues of mutual interest onto the international table.
“Economic growth and nation building continue to be our top priorities.
“Our trade with the European continent remains modest, however boosting investor confidence and improving trade links will assist Solomon Islands in this aspect and the aim is to continually work towards this,” the acting GG said.
He acknowledged the assistance Finland rendered to the Solomon Islands through its contributions to the European Development Fund as the European Union’s main arm of assistance to ACP states of which Solomon Islands is a member.
“EU Funding assistance goes towards micro-projects aimed at improving lives of people living in the rural communities as well as education and infrastructure development.
“At the regional level, Solomon Islands appreciate Finland’s collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) in facilitating the Finpac project where Solomon Islands and other South Pacific countries have accessed improved systems to their Meteorological services.
“We also note the proposed take stock of the project’s achievements schedule for August in Honiara this year and we look forward to provide assistance in any way possible,” he stated.
Ambassador Backstrom said he will do his very best to promote the relations between the two nations (Finland & SI).
Mr Backstrom is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Finland to SI with residence in Canberra, Australia.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO