In 2021, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland published a Report on Development Policy Extending Across Parliamentary Terms, a guiding document that outlines the objectives and values of Finnish cooperation in the long run.
More specifically, Finland’s development policy and cooperation has five priority areas: 1. Rights of women and girls, 2. Education, 3. Sustainable economies and decent work, 4. Peaceful, democratic societies, and 5. Climate, biodiversity and sustainable management and use of natural resources.
Private sector development (PSD) policy and strategy
The Ministry states that both private sector development and private sector cooperation are crucial to Finland’s efforts of poverty eradication and reduction of inequalities. The aim is that enterprises in developing countries are able to grow and develop responsible business practices that create decent jobs, which will diversify the economic base and promote local production of goods and services.
Finland aims to ensure that governments of developing countries pursue industrial policies that bolster the private sector, promote responsible business conduct and support an environment conducive for innovation. Finland promotes developing countries’ innovation, digitalisation and international innovation partnerships, supporting new mechanisms and solutions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Partnership mechanisms for the private sector
The Ministry promotes and supports the opportunities of Finnish enterprises to take part in solving development challenges in developing countries. The starting point is that the competences and technology provided by Finnish enterprises are internationally competitive and can have relevance in responding to the genuine needs of the partner country. Enterprises must promote the principles of responsible business conduct through their operations and comply with the values and principles of development policy in their work. The aim is to increase the proportion of Finnish enterprises engaged in activities financed through development financing. An overview of support for various phases of business operations in developing countries is here; individual initiatives are linked below:
- Finnpartnership: Matchmaking between companies; business partnership support (grants); advisory services; information services on exporting to Finland.
- Finnfund: Financial support (equity financing; investment loans; mezzanine financing; co-financing; guarantees in exceptional cases).
- DevPlat (Developing Markets Platform): Financial support (grants, loans), information, advice, contacts related to solutions for global development challenges and developing markets.
- EEP (Energy and Environment Partnership): Financial support (grants, loans, guarantees, other risk-sharing instruments) related to access to and use of clean energy, energy efficiency, and environmentally friendly business activities in 15 countries in southern and eastern Africa.
- Development Policy Investment: Financial support (loans, investments to funds, equity investments) mainly to international and development finance institutions.
- Fund for Local Cooperation: Financial support (grants for host-country civil society actors, organisations and the private sector). More information is available on the websites of Finnish embassies in individual countries.