State visit to Tromsø
The High North has been in focus during the State Visit from Finland, and the final day of the visit was spent in Tromsø in Northern Norway. His Royal Highness The Crown Prince accompanied President Sauli Niinistö and his wife Mrs Jenni Haukio on the day’s programme.
The activities in Tromsø primarily revolved around research and cooperation in the Arctic. The day began with a visit to the University of Tromsø, where Rector Jarle Aarbakke gave a brief presentation before President Niinistö opened a discussion. The discussion was moderated by Ms Elina Halttunen, a Finnish researcher working at the University of Tromsø.
The aim was to embark on a constructive conversation on how to further improve the already productive cooperation between Norway and Finland in academic circles. All of the university’s students and employees were invited to attend. Rector Lauri Lajunen of the University of Oulu was also in attendance, together with several researchers and heads of industry from Finland.
Following an official luncheon hosted by the City of Tromsø, President Niinistö, Mrs Jenni Haukio and Crown Prince Haakon departed for a visit on board the University of Tromsø’s research vessel, R/V Helmer Hanssen.
On board the R/V Helmer Hanssen
The Helmer Hanssen is used by researchers at the University of Tromsø and other research environments, and is primarily deployed in the Barents Sea and the areas around Svalbard. Research activities include fish stock assessments, geological investigations, fishing gear trials, courses and workshops. Presentations and conversations on Tromsø as a knowledge city, climate development in the Arctic, polar research and Norwegian-Finnish cooperation were held on board the vessel.
Representatives of the Fram Centre, Kongsberg Satellite Services, the Arctic Council, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, BarentsWatch and marine bioprospecting studies at the University of Tromsø were also in attendance.
Facts about Finland
Capital city: Helsinki
Largest cities: Helsinki, Tampere and Turku
Total area: 338 000 km²
Population (2012): approximately 5.3 million
Official languages: Finnish and Swedish, as well as sami in certain areas.
Form of government: Republic
Head of State (2012): President Sauli Niinistö
Diplomatic ties were established between Norway and Finland on 6 April 1918, after Finland gained its independence from Russia on 6 December 1917.
Relations between Finland and Norway are excellent, and the countries have close contact in most areas in the political, defence, cultural and industrial spheres. Their Majesties The King and Queen conducted a State Visit to Finland in 2007.
In 2010, Finland was Norway’s 11th most important import country and 13th most important export country, and trade between the two nations is growing. There are currently some 220 Norwegian-owned companies in Finland.
Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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