[:en]Finland thanks Albania for warm welcome and cooperation[:]


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[:en]Mr. President, Ministers, Excellencies Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends of Finland, hyvät suomalaiset, It is a great honour for my wife Riitta and myself to welcome all of you to this Independence Day Reception here in Tirana celebrating 100 years of independence of the Republic of Finland. This whole year has been a celebration in Finland and around the world culminating in events on and around our Independence Day on 6 December. Ladies and Gentlemen, The main heading of this year’s celebration has been the word and concept ‘Together’. In my mind, this heading is very appropriate and on so many levels: As we know, Finland ranks high in many international comparisons, but being a small nation of only some 5,5 million people means that we can achieve something special and sustainable internationally only together with other nations and states. In this spirit, I would like to thank our Albanian hosts in this country for the warm welcome you have given me here and for your cooperation with Finland over the years – hopefully more to come in the future. In the same spirit, I would like to thank all fellow diplomats here for your warm welcome and cooperation. And as we Finns are so few, it is only together that we have been able to develop from poverty to prosperity during the 100 years of our independence. For this I would like to proudly thank the few fellow countrywomen and men here tonight. Kiitokset! Ladies and Gentlemen, The EU including Finland remains fully committed to the EU integration of Albania and will continue to support the country in this process. Finland welcomes and commends the engagement of the Albanian authorities to further EU reforms, and underlines the importance of consolidating the framework for reforms and advance towards implementation. On this occasion, I would like to especially underline the importance of justice reform as well as the significance of improving and simplifying the business and investment environment. Here, the crucial importance of a strong rule of law, predictable regulatory and legislative framework, contract enforcement as well as the need to intensify fight against corruption and informal economy are key aspects. Ensuring legal certainty and protection of property rights remains also essential in this context. With the development of the business environment in Albania, I hope to be able to facilitate further economic, commercial and policy level cooperation between Finland and Albania, be it in telecommunications, energy, education, innovation and sustainable development, just to mention a few areas. Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to thank the Honorary Consul of Finland here in Tirana, Mr. Bardhyl Minxhozi, for his tireless work in furtherance of Finnish interests here. Likewise, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Mr. Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Country Manager of Nokia Networks here, for his support making this celebration tonight possible. Nokia Networks, originating from Finland, is one of the biggest network providers in Albania operating here since 2005. Thank you all for being here – and please enjoy the evening celebrating Finland! *Welcoming words by Mr. Juha Pyykkö, Ambassador of Finland to Albania, at the Finland’s 100 Celebration in Tirana on 12 December 2017 tiranatimes[:]

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