Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama this morning received a courtesy call from the new non-resident Ambassador of Finland to Fiji, Her Excellency Satu Mattila-Budich.
The Prime Minister congratulated Ambassador Budich on her new diplomatic role, with assurances of the Fijian Government’s support for the advancement of ongoing cooperation with Finland and European Union (EU) in areas of climate change, trade, agriculture and sustainable development.
He reaffirmed the Fijian Government’s commitment to elevate cooperation at the multilateral level and also expand bilateral relations in economic recovery, women empowerment, investment, tourism and trade.
The Prime Minister said Fiji is grateful to Finland’s for its contribution to the COVAX facility through the EU, which has enabled developing nations like Fiji to access lifesaving vaccines and ultimately reopen international borders, reviving the economic recovery.
The two nations have called for more ambitious global actions, especially through the development of innovative and nature based solutions to tackle climate change.
The Prime Minister extended the Fijian Government’s best wishes to Ambassador Budich, as she assumes her new role, and reaffirmed that through the partnership of Fiji and Finland’s Missions in Canberra, relations would be strengthened. 
In response, Ambassador Budich said, “Finland attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with Fiji, as the hub in the Pacific region. I would like to thank the Fijian Government for its strong leadership and commitment to the region’s prosperity.
“Finland aspires to enhance relations with Fiji and the region, through the European Union’s new strategy for the Pacific, which focus on promoting a resilient, inclusive and sustainable development.
Ambassador Budich thanked Prime Minister Bainimarama for the opportunity to meet in person, and also acknowledged the kind hospitality accorded to her during her first visit to Fiji and commended the Prime Minister for his leadership in climate change.
“There have been discussions on the way forward to strengthen cooperation, and apart from climate change and environment, women and youth empowerment are also possible areas of cooperation.
“I would also like to strengthen our partnership in multilateralism, since we are likeminded countries and we continue to work together at the United Nations on global issues of importance.”
She expressed Finland’s appreciation to the Fijian Government for its cooperation with Finland and other EU countries on the UN resolution on Ukraine.
“Our solidarity in this case, speaks to our commitment on defending rules based international order, democracy and rule of law and we very much appreciate the cooperation in this field,” Ambassador Budich added.