WINDHOEK, APRIL 2 – Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) today hosted the second ever SME Aisle project workshop in Namibia. Titled “Doing business through SME Aisle,” the project draws its key focus on maritime and shipbuilding, renewable energy, ICT and automation. It was facilitated by the Embassy of Finland in Namibia, and the SME Aisle itself is a project spearheaded by Finland’s Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK).
In a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Head of Mission Johanna Unha-Kaprali, Finnish Head of Mission Pirkko-Liisa Kyostila said the project is aimed at assisting the Central Baltic maritime clusters’ SMEs in entering the Southern African market.
“The focus is on shipbuilding, maritime and logistics, renewable energy, automation and ICT,” she said.
She said that as the Embassy tries to make connections between different actors and as part of Team Finland – a network of public sector entities – “the Foreign Ministry and our diplomatic missions promote Finland and its interests abroad: our enterprises going global, foreign investments in Finland and our country brand.”
With regards to maritime aspect, she said Finland boasts a long history of bringing high-tech to the high seas.
“Our internationally known maritime expertise ranges from cruise ships to icebreakers, from port technology to offshore solutions.”
Numerous studies consider Finland one of the world’s most socially innovative countries as the country’s businesses constantly seek to solve social and environmental challenges.
“Clean thinking runs in our genes and sustainability is our second nature. Reliable energy production and transmission are the backbone of any industry. Our companies working in the field of renewables are known for creating holistic and scalable solutions for specialised conditions. Today, more than 40 percent of the Finnish energy is produced from renewable resources. We are determined to maintain our role as a foreruner,” she said.
Turning to ICT and communications technology, Kyostila said this the bedrock of Finland’s expertise as the country has developed and designed “countless connectivity solutions,” which have reached all corners of the world, enabling experiences people have never had before.
“Our long winters leave us lots of time to think. When the closest neighbour is far away and it is freezing outside, mobile communications start to make alot of sense.”
The SME Aisle delegation comprises of companies from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Sweden. After the Namibian visit, the project which has bought a large business delegation, will travel to South Africa and Zambia looking for potential partners. – firstname.lastname@example.org