The Sierra Leone Consulate Planning Team Office in Finland Conference “SIERRA LEONE/FINLAND INVESTMENT FORUM”, 11th - 12th October 2022 in Helsinki
CONFERENCE CONCEPT NOTE
Sierra Leone is a country with numerous business opportunities that most companies, investors and business owners in Finland are not knowledgeable about. Therefore, the Sierra Leone’s Consulate Planning Office in Finland in collaboration with the Soumi Sierra Leone Seura Ry (the parent Sierra Leonean association in Finland) decided to collaborate and tailor an annual Investment Forum. The conference marks an important milestone in the roadmap towards marketing our Sierra Leone and its rich business potentials that will suit the needs of Finnish businesses on both public and private sector in our bid to complementing the laudable efforts of the Sierra Leone government in its development trajectory as enshrined in the Medium Term National Development Plans (Education for Development). As a country, Sierra Leone has seen the urgent need to boost its educational sector as a fundamental tool for national growth as one of the flagship projects of government and President (His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio) of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
This year’s conference will take place on the 1st and 2nd September, 2022 at the Caisa Auditorium – Kaikukatu 4, Helsinki, Finland.
Finland can be of great help in achieving this goal due to its high standards of education (one of the best in the world). However, by replicating or learning some of the core values of the Finnish education system and combine it with some of the good teaching and learning skills in Sierra Leone will help yield the required result hence developing the human capital of our citizens.
However, Finland recently ratified its African Strategy demonstrating that they are ready to expand their development and diplomatic cooperation in Africa to which Sierra Leone is no exception. Taking this bold step in organizing the Sierra Leone/Finland Investment Forum that will bring together key actors from across the public and private sectors in Sierra Leone and Finland on a common platform in deepening and strengthening development ties and promote foreign trade (import and export of goods and services between both countries) on a win-win basis will have its positive ripple effects; growth on the GDP and GNP, job creation, poverty reduction and tourism promotion. Therefore, the Forum will focus on identifying the key sectors that both countries are interested in and foster strong business cooperation; matching Finnish companies with Sierra Leone’s and provide the needed information to both sides regarding the market structure and culture. This highly interactive event will provide relevant information and working sessions on the most effective methods of channeling foreign direct investments including a forum for the presentation and discussion of the
• The present business climate in Sierra Leone and Europe/Finland
• Building a resilient and lasting trade relationship between Sierra Leone and Finland
• Creating a smooth business atmosphere for Finnish companies the will invest in Sierra Leone and vice versa
• The effective strategies of matchmaking of companies and businesses
• How to establish a company in Sierra Leone/Finland
Other areas of business and development cooperation can also be utilized in order to maximize the flow of Foreign direct investments particularly into Sierra Leone that will be useful for economic growth and also create the enabling environment for Sierra Leonean companies or businesses to expand their scope into the Finnish market with their products and services hence increasing export from Sierra Leone to Finland vice versa. In the end we will utilize the opportunity to disseminate the results of successful Finnish businesses or companies that have been established in Sierra Leone.
The key sectors we are targeting are as follows;
• Tourism and hospitality
• Real estate/housing/construction
Considering the long existing bilateral relationship between both countries, this forum could lead to the ratification of a trade treaties between Sierra Leone and Finland on a long term basis on the diplomatic level which will enhance the goal of the Finnish government as stated in its aforementioned African Strategy.