🇫🇮 Finnish know-how is in demand in Japan – one year until the opening of Expo 2025 Osaka

April 15, 2024
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The Nordic Pavilion at Osaka World Expo 2025. Illustration @AMDLC Rimond/Expo Nordic

Finland will participate in the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan, together with the other Nordic countries. The unique event offers opportunities for Finnish companies. The opening of Expo is about a year from today, on April 13, 2025.

Japan is the world’s fourth largest economy and Finland’s second largest trading partner in Asia. As an operating environment favorable for Finnish companies and a large market with strong purchasing power, Japan is an attractive export destination for companies. The free trade agreement between Japan and the EU, which has been in force since 2019, facilitates the access of Finnish companies to the Japanese market.

“The Japanese market is progressive and offers plenty of potential also for Finnish companies. However, the language and cultural differences as well as fierce local competition require export experience and effort from Finnish companies. Engaging in collaboration with Japanese partners and companies helps in entering the market,” says Suvi Sundquist, Head of Region Northeast Asia at Business Finland.

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Suvi Sundquist, Head of Region Northeast Asia at Business Finland

JAPANESE SOCIETY IS CHANGING

Japan is currently undergoing a major transformation as the ageing and shrinking workforce drives the country to reshape societal structures and seek new solutions to fill the sustainability gap. Japan is investing heavily in tackling social challenges with its Society 5.0 program, which focuses on areas such as high-speed data networks, efficient use of data, IoT, and AI. Combined with Japan’s renowned industrial know-how, these will help to address challenges related to production efficiency, infrastructure, and logistics, for example.

“Finland’s country image in Japan is good, but Finnish solutions are not yet known well enough and companies should take active measures to stand out in the competitive market,” says Tanja Jääskeläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Japan.

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Tanja Jääskeläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Japan

FINNISH COMPANIES HAVE PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES IN JAPAN

The green transition and digitalization are in full swing in Japan and the desire to promote these is strong. Japan is dependent on imported fossil fuels and is looking for solutions to secure its supply of energy and reduce emissions. The country is making strong investments in the development of the hydrogen economy and clean technologies, and it has also launched projects related to wind power.

“Finnish clean technologies, such as Power-to-X solutions, have export opportunities as Japan strives to reduce emissions. Building green data centers, utilizing waste heat, and sustainable and smart construction are topics that interest people in places such as Hokkaido, which has a climate similar to Finland,” says Jääskeläinen.

“Sustainability and digitalization are our assets, and these themes generate a lot of interest in Japan right now.” Tanja Jääskeläinen

A law that entered into force in spring 2022 obliges large Japanese companies to reduce the amount of single-use plastics, which is among the highest in the world. In Japan, Finland is known for its circular economy and bioeconomy, and Finland’s advanced expertise in biomaterials could help Japan to address the problem of plastic waste. In addition, opportunities have emerged in the field of recycling and waste treatment technologies.

“Korea and Japan consume the most plastic per capita in the world. In Japan, we are working on a value chain for the chemical recycling of plastics. Next-generation plastic recycling technologies can significantly reduce the use of fossil raw materials,” says Sundquist.

Finland’s 5G/6G expertise is also well-known in Japan. There are also collaboration opportunities in disruptive technologies, such as supercomputers and quantum technologies.

OSAKA WORLD EXPO ATTRACTS VISITORS AND OFFERS VISIBILITY

The Nordic countries will build a joint pavilion for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan. The joint Nordic participation brings additional benefits for Finland and the companies involved, such as wider visibility and new networks. Finland will also showcase its own companies and special characteristics.

The Nordic pavilion itself will be a unique venue, built to reflect the shared values of the countries. The impressive pavilion with its conference services will provide a platform for companies’ own events for invited guests. The pavilion partners will also gain significant marketing visibility during the World Expo project. Business Finland is responsible for the implementation of Finland’s share of the project.

“Expo 2025 offers Finnish companies an opportunity to benefit from the positive reputation of Finland and the other Nordic countries in Japan. Japan and Japanese companies are looking for partnerships to address common challenges. In this area, Finland and Finnish companies have a lot to offer both in Japan and globally. Sustainability and digitalization are our assets, and these themes generate a lot of interest in Japan right now,” says Jääskeläinen.

“Osaka World Expo is expected to attract 28 million visitors – such visibility is not available normally,” adds Sundquist.

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The opening of Expo will be April 13, 2025. We have about one year to go! Photo: @Expo 2025

The preparations for Expo 2025 Osaka are well underway. The area is being constructed on an artificial island called Yumeshima, adjacent to the city of Osaka. Currently, 161 countries have registered to participate. The opening ceremony for the six-month-long event will be held on April 13, 2025.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXPO AND PARTICIPATION POSSIBILITIES

This article is a translation of an original piece published in Kauppalehti on March 5, 2024.


Originally published on 11 April by Business Finland.

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