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News, 2/14/2018

Anne-Mari Virolainen appointed as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, focusing on global responsibility and export promotion

On Monday 12 Feburary 2018, the President of the Republic decided to appoint Anne-Mari Virolainen as the new Minister for Foreign Trade and Development. Kai Mykkänen, the previous holder of the portfolio, is appointed as Minister of the Interior.

Anne-Mari Virolainen is serving her third term as a Member of Parliament, representing the National Coalition Party. Prior to her appointment she chaired the Grand Committee of Parliament, which handles EU matters. She has also served as a member of Parliament's Finance Committee and Employment and Equality Committee. Virolainen has been a member of the Finnish Delegation to the Council of Europe, to the Nordic Council, to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and to the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.

"I'm happy to continue the reforms launched by my predecessors Lenita Toivakka and Kai Mykkänen," says Virolainen, commenting on her appointment.

Virolainen has the right credentials to be the minister responsible for foreign trade. She gained an MSc degree in economics in the foreign trade programme at the University of Turku, and she has valuable experience of dealing with trade policy matters, for instance in her work in the Grand Committee. In her new post as the minister responsible for foreign trade, she intends to take an active role in export promotion matters:

"There is demand for Finnish companies' expertise across the world in, for instance, clean solutions, health technology products, and the ICT sector.  One of my most important tasks will be to open doors for Finnish companies in various parts of the world in cooperation with the Team Finland network.  I will also travel around Finland to visit companies and to discuss their opportunities and, above all, to listen to their ideas about what we could do in practice to boost our export industries," says Virolainen, reflecting upon the prospects in export promotion.

As for development cooperation,  the new Minister's experience includes membership of Finnfund's Supervisory Board.

"The carefully thought-out priorities of Finland's development policy include a strong focus on women and girls and entrepreneurship. Bearing in mind our limited resources, we need to have a clear picture of where we concentrate our activities.  I will pay special attention to performance and effectiveness," Virolainen emphasises.

Minister Virolainen is married with two adult children. In her free time, her interests lie in gardening, taking  exercise and picking mushrooms.

For requests to interview Minister Anne-Mari Virolainen, please contact her Special Adviser, Juha Kirstilä, tel. +358 40 552 8200.

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Updated 2/14/2018

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