Helsinki 13 March 2018

Yours to discover – Seminar on Central America and the Caribbean


For more information, please contact:

Ms. Kirsti Tarvainen
Business Finland
+358 40 343 3434, kirsti.tarvainen (at) businessfinland.fi

Ms. Anne Hatanpää
Finnish-Latin American Trade Association
+358 50 320 9539, anne.hatanpaa (at) chamber.fi

Ms. Tiina Nikkinen
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
+358 50 321 1091, tiina.nikkinen (at) formin.fi


unique opportunity to get a closer look at the business and investment opportunities in the region

Time: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 09:00 – 14:00
Venue: The House of the Estates, Säätytalo, Snellmaninkatu 9-11, Helsinki

Seminar is offered free of charge but requires a pre-registration. The seminar
language is English.

Central America and the Caribbean region offers plenty of business opportunities for Finnish companies. Central America includes Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama with a combined population of more than 40 million people; a rich mineral and agricultural base, the potential for growth in both renewable energy and high-tech sectors.

The Caribbean region consists of more than a dozen countries, ranging from tiny island nations to more populated countries such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba. It is a region with more than 35 million inhabitants and it is full of potential for tourism and maritime industries.

The keynote speaker at the seminar will be Mr. Chris Bennett, the Managing Director of the London-based Caribbean Council. The Caribbean Council is a long-established consultancy and membership organization, specialized in providing trade and investment advisory services covering the Caribbean, the Guyanas and Central America. It has a decade's long record of accomplishments in helping to understand local markets and navigate the region's business environment. The Caribbean Britain Business Council, the Central American Business Council and the Cuba Initiative are the three membership organizations at the Caribbean Council.

More information on the Caribbean Council

This is a unique opportunity to get a closer look at the business and investment opportunities in the region, and to learn about the incentives and services that the countries and Team Finland network offer Finnish exporters, importers and investors.

The seminar is coorganized by Business Finland, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the Finnish-Latin American Trade Association.

Please read interesting articles:
Nicaragua – lämpöä, vettä ja mahdollisuuksia
Finncham interviewed H.E. Ernesto Céspedes, Ambassador of Mexico in Helsinki
Business-matkalle Dominikaaniseen tasavaltaan?


08:15 - 9:00

Registration and Coffee

Meeting room #20

Seminar – Chaired by
Ms. Kirsi Seppäläinen

Meeting room # 15

09:00 - 09:05

Welcoming remarks

Ms. Kirsi Seppäläinen
Chair, Finnish-Latin American Trade Association
Moderator of the Seminar


Keski-Amerikan ja Karibian maissa kysyntää suomalaiselle osaamiselle

Central America and the Caribbean as business destinations

09:05 – 09:15

Opening Address

Mr. Matti Anttonen
Permanent State Secretary
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

09:45 – 10:00

Q & A Session

10:00 – 10:10


10:10 – 10:20


10:20 – 10:30


Mr. Francisco R. Gross


Invest in Guatemala

10:30 – 10:40


Mr. Jaime Ortega Cucalón


Investment and development opportunities in Panama

10:40 – 10:50


Mr. Carlos Felipe Agurcia


Think smart, think Honduras

10:50 – 11:00

Dominican Republic


Mr. Ebell De Castro, Director for Competitiveness of the National Board of Free Zones for Export


Business opportunities in the Dominican Republic

Attractive markets for the free zones

Link: El Nuevo Diario

11:00 – 11:15

Q & A Session

11:15 – 11:25

Company Case

Mr. Harri Antikainen
Financial Analyst, Project Development
Wärtsilä Corporation


Wärtsilä in Central Amercia and the Caribbean

11:25 – 11:45

Financial Assistance for companies

Finnvera plc – Mr. Mika Relander
Senior Adviser

Beam Program – Mr. Minh Lam
Project Manager, Business Finland

Finnfund – Mr. Ari Nironen
Senior Investment Manager

Finnpartnership – Ms. Birgit Nevala
Program Manager


Finnpartnership support

11:45 – 11:55

Closing Words

Mr. Roy Eriksson
Ambassador of Finland to Central America

Mr. Jukka Pietikäinen
Ambassador of Finland to the Caribbean

12:00 – 12:45

Networking Luncheon

Meeting room #20

Meet our keynote speaker