DG Azevêdo said:

“I am honored to be in Finland as it marks the centenary of its independence. This is an opportunity to look at what the country has accomplished, and of course, set the path for the country’s future. Finland was a founding member of the World Trade Organization and trade is an important part of its economy. Around 28 per cent of total employment in Finland is linked to exports. I am sure that trade and the WTO can continue to play a positive role for Finland’s economic growth.

“Especially in this current challenging economic scenario, we have to strengthen the multilateral system, and ensure that more people can benefit from trade by delivering reforms which can lower trade barriers and help everyone to participate.

“The WTO’s run of agreements in the past 3.5 years, including the Trade Facilitation Agreement which entered into force just last month, show that WTO members can work together to solve the complex problems that they face. Looking forward, I think that we can achieve much more. Together, we can ensure that trade is an engine for Finland’s growth, and that it remains an important factor for many more years to come.”

As part of his visit, DG Azevêdo also gave the keynote speech at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Finland’s 90th Anniversary Conference on “the Future of Open Trade”. His full remarks are available here.

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