On January 15, 2019, Zhang Jianguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, met with a Finnish delegation led by Anne-Mari Virolainen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland, who was visiting China with Finnish President Niinisto. The two sides exchanged views on the status of China-Finland cooperation in Science and Technology and future pragmatic cooperation.
Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo briefed Minister Anne-Mari Virolainen on the status quo of science, technology and innovation (STI) in China and the progress of China-Finland STI cooperation, saying that opening up is China's basic national policy and the background to China’s international cooperation in science and technology. Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo made specific suggestions for future China-Finland cooperation in STI, including making good use of the China-Finland Joint Commission for Science and Technology Cooperation to expand key areas of cooperation; actively implementing the already signed memorandum of understanding on STI cooperation to promote the exchange of scientists and talents between the two countries and pushing forward knowledge exchange; and encouraging Chinese and Finnish scientists to leverage the resources of the China-Europe Joint Funding Mechanism for STI and deepen cooperation within the framework of the EU’s Horizon 2020.
Minister Anne-Mari Virolainen actively echoed Vice Minister Zhang Jianguo's suggestions. She briefed the Chinese side on the status quo of STI in Finland, expressed her country’s willingness to strengthen cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship, especially SME innovation with China, and hoped to promote the integration of science and technology with economic development.
During Finnish President Niinisto’s visit to China, China and Finland issued the Joint Work Plan for Promoting a New Partnership between China and Finland for the Future (2019-2023), of which cooperation in STI is an important part. The two sides unanimously agreed to actively prepare for the meeting of the China-Finland Joint Commission Meeting to be held this year, produce more practical cooperation results in the field of STI and implement the Joint Work Plan (2019-2023).
The meeting was attended by Ms. Tuuli-Maaria Aalto, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister, Arto Haapea, Deputy Director of the Unit for Eastern Asia and Oceania of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Anna Vitie, Minister Counselor of the Finnish Embassy in China, and relevant personnel of the Department of International Cooperation of MOST, China.