You are the Honorary Consul of Finland in Ostrava. What does this position involve? My role of honorary consul naturally draws upon my position as a representative of the greatest Finnish employer in the Czech Republic, and connects all our activities on all levels, including the diplomatic. I can sum it up by saying that I do my best to improve Czech-Finnish relations and support our collaboration in various spheres. We participate in all significant events, such as the Ice Hockey World Championship, or the 100th anniversary of the Independence of Finland. I also find mutual inspiration is very important, e. g. Czech institutions are very inquisitive about the Finnish system of education whose features I personally see as crucial in the development of education. That is why our company puts great effort in implementing some of these elements in the Czech environment and helping local schools develop talent, mostly through interactive workshops on work prospects and critical thinking. My duties also include the assistance to Finns in the Czech Republic who have gotten in trouble, and Czechs who need advice before they travel to the north.
How do your business partners feel in our region? What places and culinary attractions would you recommend to visitors? Our partners are always surprised when coming to Ostrava and visiting the area, and they do enjoy coming back here. Our typical visitors are clients who are interested in Ostrava and its business opportunities. I am happy that our city has the reputation of being an innovative hub and a home to intelligence and permanent scientific research happening thanks to local branches of IT companies, thanks to universities, start-ups and the National Supercomputing Centre. In their free time our visitors appreciate the quick access to nature. Only a twenty-minute drive from the office to our beautiful mountains is a great attraction. I personally recommend the culture of Ostrava, like concerts and festivals in Dolní Vítkovice, and concerts of the Janáček Pilharmonic Ostrava, which represent the global quality of events. It always leaves them with a unique impression. Thank you for the interview. - editorial POSITIV 3/2019 ǀ 25