Finland has announced that about 50 business partnerships have been forged between Zambian and Finnish firms through the Finland Development Financial Institution (Finnfund).
Finnfund is an impact investor that promotes sustainable development by offering financing to profitable and responsible companies in developing countries, such as Zambia.
Embassy of Finland Lusaka Deputy Head of Mission, Jan Koivu, in an interview on Monday was hopeful that more partnerships could be forged between Zambian and Finnish firms.
Koivu stated that Finland, through the Finnfund, was a strong believer of partnerships.
“We forged almost 50 partnerships between Zambian and Finnish entities over the past three to four years, so we would to see it growing but is about identifying the right partner in Zambia,” he said.
He noted that Finland, through the fund, had been looking for partners in the renewable energy initiatives in Zambia.
Other areas of interest pointed out by Koivu were forestry, agriculture and aquaculture.
According to Koivu, the usual ticket size for investment portfolio was between Euro3 and Euro 5 million.
“We as the Finnish embassy would be keen to see more Finnish investments through Finnfund in particular into the country.
“We have been trying as the embassy to diversify our relations with Zambia and specially to go an interact with the private sector and forge partnerships,” he said.
He, however, expressed concern at the size of most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in terms of their annual turnover which was critical in forging partnerships.
Koivu stated that the Finnfund was looking for return on investments.
“Some of Zambian SMEs can be very small in terms of annual turnover, they are not necessarily ready for what we call in Finland an SME.
“We have a bit of a different criteria so we follow the international criteria and Zambia has been relatively low not following the international standards as such for SMEs, what determines an SME,” he said.
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