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Online 17.6.2021

North to South - Arkansas-Finland high-level online roundtable on forest bioeconomy

June 17, 2021, 9am-11am CST; 10am-12pm EST; 5pm-7pm EET

This event is free of charge but requires a registration through the link below.


Further information

Mr. Peter MacKeith, Dean
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
University of Arkansas
mackeith (at), +1 479 308-8725

Ms. Denise Thomas, Director of Africa & Middle East Trade
World Trade Center Arkansas
deniset (at), +1 (479) 418-4821

Ms. Ulla Lainio, Commercial Counselor
Business Finland
ulla.lainio (at), +1 (332) 223-0027

Mr. Taneli Elomaa, Counselor, Commercial and Trade Affairs
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
taneli.elomaa (at), +1 (646) 468-2665

Practicalities of the event:
Ms. Hanna-Leena Harma, Manager – Inbound delegations
Business Finland
hanna-leena.harma (at), +358 40 728 8730



A Finland-Arkansas high-level online roundtable on the forest bioeconomy

Arkansas, “The Natural State,” is a state of 3.3 million people, 57% covered in forests and timberlands. The state is highly reliant on its forest resources and forest industries – more so than any other state in the US – and is in fact, increasing its surplus timber stock annually, with consequent environmental issues.

The state is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities to manage its forests more productively, to expand forest-based industries, to build a stronger forest-based economy and to stimulate a stronger, more resilient state overall. To do so, the state’s stakeholders in timber and wood would benefit greatly from more education, more exposure to best practices, and more comprehension of the diversity of timber and wood product opportunities.

Arkansas is interested in to learn more about how Finland – a nation highly reliant on its forest resources and forest-based industries – has become a model for sustainable forest management practices, for research and development of innovative timber and wood products, and for developing a national plan for a sustainable, resilient bioeconomy.  

An Arkansas delegation of forests, timber and wood stakeholders is planning to visit Finland in the end of 2021/beginning of 2022. In advance of that visit, Team Finland, together with World Trade Center Arkansas, is organizing an introductory roundtable discussion in which governmental officers and industry experts from Arkansas and Finland are sharing their views on the forest bioeconomy.  

The roundtable online event focuses on following topics: 

  • Sustainable forest management and modern forest bioeconomy
  • Wood construction (architecture, construction and design in the timber industry & mass timber lament manufacturing and its usage).  

We welcome stakeholders and company representatives that are interested in building the knowledge and the relationships between the State of Arkansas and Finland on forest economy business opportunities to join the event. 

Speakers from Finland

Speakers from Arkansas



Online event program



Welcoming words
Finland Welcome Address
H.E. Mikko Hautala, Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the United States of America
Arkansas Welcome Address
United State Senator John Boozman



Introductory outlook

Director General and CEO Nina Kopola - Business Finland



Director Bentley Story - Business Development Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward

Permanent Secretary Jaana Husu-Kallio – Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Under Secretary Petri Peltonen - Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Head of national wood construction program Petri Heino – Ministry of the Environment



U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman – Representing the 4th District of Arkansas

Chair of the Agriculture and Forestry Committee of the Parliament of Finland Anne Kalmari – Member of the Parliament (Centre Party)






Joe Fox, State Forester - Arkansas and President, National Association of State Foresters

Matthew Pelkki, Prof. Forest Economics - University of Arkansas at Monticello

Sustainable forest management  
Director Johanna Buchert - LUKE (Natural Resources Institute Finland)



The Arkansas timber and wood project
Peter MacKeith, Dean - Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas

A new research flagship Forest-Human-Machine Interplay (UNITE)
Professor Jyrki Kangas – Director of the UNITE Flagship belonging to the Flagship Programme of the Academy of Finland. Director of the Doctoral Programme FORES (Forests and Bioresources)



Steve Anthony, President - Anthony Timberlands Inc.

Tom Reilley, CEO - Highland Pellets

Hardy Wentzel, CEO - StructureLam

An innovation-driven catalyst of the green transition
Manager, Innovation Policy Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen – Finnish Forest Industries




  • Sustainable forest management and modern forest bioeconomy
  • Wood construction (architecture, construction and design in the timber industry & mass timber lament manufacturing and its usage)

Moderated by Dean Peter MacKeith, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design



Closing words